Woman falls in hospital told to call 911

Oct. 19, 2011 at 8:58 AM
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NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A Canadian hospital in Niagara Falls says it has apologized for telling an 82-year-old woman who fell and broke her hip in the lobby to call an ambulance.

The incident happened Oct. 8 as Doreen Wallace and her son, Mike, were leaving the hospital. The woman stumbled and fell onto a metal grate and fractured her hip and cut her head, the Toronto Star reported.

Medical staff in the nearby Emergency Room said they couldn't help her and said she would have to make a 911 call for an ambulance, she said.

A security guard tended to her bleeding head and she remained on the ground for about 30 minutes, her son told the Star. At one point, a doctor helped the woman into a wheelchair before paramedics arrived.

"I was floored," the son said. "We were probably, maybe, like a 50-yard walk, literally, down to the emergency department."

Hospital supervisor Dr. Kevin Smith told the newspaper some medical staff members were had apparently following old rules that dealt with insurance liability, but that staff has since been briefed on correct procedures.

He said an apology has been sent to Wallace, which she said had not arrived yet, the report said.

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