No parent wants to see their child injured, in potential danger, or struggling with unbearable pain. Understandably, concerned mothers and fathers in this situation often seek immediate help from skilled professionals.
That’s exactly what Judy Schafer did recently. It all started when the Quebec resident received a distressing call from her daughter’s school.
It seems Schafer’s 12-year-old daughter, Alexandra Floyd, had fallen down the stairs at a Montreal subway station on her way to attend classes. The girl had apparently struck her head against a step, and began experiencing a pronounced headache later that day.
The worried mom took her daughter for immediate medical treatment. They proceeded to the nearby Montreal Children’s Hospital emergency department at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).
According to reports, that’s evidently when an even bigger headache began. Schafer said that once they arrived, she and her daughter waited 10 hours to get checked for head trauma.
Floyd recalled that during this time, the noise and bustle in the ER aggravated her headache terribly. “I felt like someone was punching my inner head constantly — it hurt a lot,” the girl told media outlets.
Schafer maintained that the hospital staff dismissed these concerns, seeing other young patients with flu-like symptoms first. Meanwhile, recalled Floyd, she grew dizzy and her headache “was getting worse, because there were so many people, like kids in there screaming and yelling and running around.”
The CDC lists headache, dizziness, and noise sensitivity as symptoms that may often be associated with a concussion. Unfortunately, according to Schafer, their ER wait dragged on regardless.
Schafer told news outlets that one father initially reassured her Floyd would undoubtedly be seen soon. “As the day kept going on,” noted Schafer, “he kept saying ‘I can’t believe you’re still sitting here.’”
Schafer said that father’s child got called in to see medical professionals before she and her daughter did. She told media outlets that his child was being treated for a stomach ache.
Floyd was eventually diagnosed with a concussion, and she’s now recovering at home. Schafer subsequently filed an official complaint with the medical center, and she’s urging other parents to likewise speak up about extended wait times.
In a statement to Montreal news outlets, an MUHC spokesperson said, “We realize the wait times are extremely long and apologize for the situation. This is due to the increased number of patients who are presenting with flu and viral-like symptoms to the pediatric emergency department.”
The spokesperson continued by noting that “the priority of any emergency department is to care for those who are severely ill and injured first.” Schafer indicated that she would understand multiple hours in the waiting room if her daughter had been exhibiting those flu and viral-like symptoms herself.
“If I have to wait eight hours, I get it, I understand it, it makes sense — it’s a sore throat,” said Schafer. But she also maintained that her daughter should not have had to endure such a lengthy wait for head trauma.
“No, I will not accept that — I never will. And no parent should accept that,” she told media outlets.
MUHC indicated that its emergency department capacity is 220 patients per day. However, the hospital added that it’s currently seeing close to 300 patients at the peak of this hectic winter flu season.
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