Civitavecchia – Alzheimer’s patient left unattended in emergency room
“There are situations that suddenly fill you with bitterness, anger, a sense of helplessness. In spite of all that we say, plan and do every day , in spite of all that almost all our operators in St. Paul’s Hospital do every day with dedication, sensitivity, sense of sacrifice and passion, it happens that an episode, a report make all this seem useless, inappropriate, vain.” In these words the outburst of an astonished Giuseppe Quintavalle, General Director of ASL ROMA F, who continues: “Our commitment to an adequate, effective, dignified public health care, built around the needs of those in need, sometimes breaks against the wall of a deaf, indifferent reality, which some operators, unfortunately decisive in some circumstances, in defiance of these principles, incredibly continue to build .“
The incident referred to is from a few days ago, which happened at the emergency room, that it involved a elderly lady with Alzheimer’s disease, left unsupervised and unassisted, despite the presence in the waiting room of her family members, attentive and willing to cooperate if only allowed.
More: the’elderly user, in her state of confusion due to inclement pathology, at some point has also managed to get out of the department, from the’building and also from the hospital, so much so that she was found shortly afterwards by a vigilante from the hospital in one of the city streets around St. Paul’s, and promptly reported by them to the emergency room. An unbelievable episode, moreover to the detriment of an Alzheimer’s patient, a terrible disease that in the patient means isolation, confusion, alienation, and for the family context an immense, continuous, irreparable pain in seeing gradually vanish into thin air the most intimate identity and true of one’s relative, one’s loved one.
“Any responsibility of those who contributed to the occurrence of this unfortunate incident will be thoroughly investigated and sanctioned – Quintavalle specifies – indeed, at the direction of the Corporate Management, disciplinary proceedings against those identified as possibly responsible have already been initiated, but let me say that despite this, this affair represents a failure, a turning back that hurts, that saddens us all. Those who work in public health are not doing a job like any other: we have a special mission because we are deputed to bring help, and I am not just talking about health care, to those who are experiencing a difficult time, of absolute need, of needing solidarity and human warmth as much as possible.”
“Extreme closeness to the family members, made up of sensitivity and attention, this I have already expressed to the relatives and this I pledge to continue to observe during my term of office: we all have the right to a truer, more effective and above all humane health care, and to this moral principle we will make sure to inspire from the first to the’last of our goodwill workers.”