James defends QEH
Chief executive officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Dr Dexter James has defended the health facility in the face of allegations by a visiting Canadian couple.
David Taylor, 61, told Barbados TODAY a week ago that his 64-year-old wife went through horror after she broke her leg and sought treatment at the QEH.
He said the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were insensitive to his wife while she was being transported to the hospital, did not have any conversation with them, and little attention was paid to her as she waited for hours in the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department.
However, James said there was a misconception that once patients showed up at the A&E they were served immediately.
“When patients get into the Accident & Emergency Department, this is not a first come first serve basis. This is not a KFC outlet where you queue up and you get . . . first come, first serve. It is not like that. You are seen by a nurse, you are triaged in order of emergency type condition, you are seen in order of life-threatening circumstance,” he stressed.
James admitted, however, that the A&E was a fast paced department where nurses and doctors did not always have the time to engage in social interaction.
“At times they could get very caught up in their work and sometimes they only see the end. It is really patient care and the whole socialization in A&E sometimes is lost,” he said.
He also dismissed the allegation that Mrs Taylor was placed on a broken stretcher in the crowded A&E.
James said the stretchers were lowered but that was done for patient safety.
“It is not true that we have broken down stretchers in the Accident & Emergency Department. That’s an ignorant statement. It is for their own welfare that we place them on these stretchers and lower the stretchers so that they don’t fall and injury themselves any more,” explained the QEH boss.
He also responded to the suggestion that EMTs do not have conversations with patients they transport.
The CEO said: “We have what is called a run sheet that one has to document on it the name of the patient, the condition of the patient and other pertinent information. As a measure of protecting the integrity of the service and the sacredness of the service, we have what is called a black box that tapes the nature of the conversation between the dispatcher and the patient.”
“All you have to tell me is the date that the incident happened, perhaps the location and the name of the patient and we can go back to the black box and listen to the tape to validate whether the claims have been made sometimes are in fact true or not true.”