Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hospital Emergency Rooms

Hello everyone!

This is a special post, quite different from my regular posts, but I feel it important and necessary to get this out, as well to get feedback from all of you concerning your own experiences in a hospital emergency room.
Yesterday I had a very sore and red eye (uveitis), so I went to the emergency at a hospital here in Montreal.  I got there and registered at 11:30 a.m., and was still there at 12:00 a.m. midnight!!!  And not only was I still there at this hour, almost 12 hours, but I still hadn't received the evaluation/response from a doctor regarding my case.  A first year medical student saw me, did a test on my eyes, (and this was at 10:00 p.m.), was with me until 10:30 p.m., told me that she was going to discuss and talk over her findings with her supervisor.  She left at that time, 10:30 p.m., and by midnight she still hadn't returned!

So I spoke to one of the employees and told her, saying that it was already midnight, that I had to take the bus to get home.  This employee asked me if I could take a taxi home and I told her no, I didn't have the money!

I just left in sheer frustration.  I mean, how much longer was I going to be there?  I was already there for almost 12 hours and I was just exhausted and fed up.  Anyway, I got home just before 1 a.m. and was totally dumbfounded by the experience.

This was at a hospital here in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I would like to know...have you had any experience of being in an emergency room in a hospital?  Please share your story...were you there for a long period of time...or not?  How long were you there?  And please mention which country you are in and, if you live here in Canada, please specify which province you are in.

The system here is absolutely ridiculous.  You first go with your Medicare card to register, and the person with whom you register evaluates you, asking you health questions and the reason why you are there. She also takes your temperature and blood pressure and asks, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how severe is your pain?"

Now, this happened when I first got there...then, about 3 hours later, when I thought that at this point I was going to be actually seen by a doctor, my name was called again, for another evaluation by the person with whom I registered initially.  She again asked me to what degree my pain was, again took my blood pressure and again took my temperature.

I think this is a ridiculous, long and bad process.

Thank you so much for reading this post and I look forward to hearing your own experiences (either yourself or a friend or loved one), as far as an emergency room visit goes.

Love and hugs to you all!


  1. Hi, Linda. I am sorry to hear you had this experience. Hopefully this is not the norm, or there were extenuating circumstances. I've had long waits, but nothing like yours. Wishing you good health. xx USA Florida

  2. I have only been in an emergency room one time (here in the United States) was taken in right away. Hope you are feeling better. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

  3. My last experience in an emergency room was at about 1 AM and I was seen and evaluated for a cat bite immediately. The wound was rinsed, I received antibiotics and a prescription for more and a tetanus shot and was instructed how and when to take the medicine and to come back if I saw infection or pain in the wound area. The longest I have been in an ER was after an auto collision and that was ten hours, so I do understand your frustration. USA Florida.

  4. I think, I've only been to A&E once, but it was years ago. I had abdominal pain, and got an ambulance ride to the hospital, but I can't really remember exactly what happened. I just remember getting something, and resting, and someone occasionally coming to see how I was doing. I got home on the following day. (This happened in Dublin.)

    What I've heard, here (Ireland), it sort of depends on where in the country you are, and whether it's during the week, or weekend / holidays.. But it's common that you'll have to wait for ages, unless you're bleeding, or having a stroke / heart attack / etc..

    I totally understand your frustration, but they are always busy, and they need to constantly evaluate cases, to treat the most urgent ones first..

  5. Hi, Linda!
    I am so sorry to read this. I hope your eye is better. That was a terrible experience. I would be frustrated too. No, I've never been in an emergency room, but took my girlfriend there when she experienced double vision. She was taken back within 10 minutes and we learned her blood pressure skyrocketed for some reason. You are on my prayer list. Sending big hugs!

  6. I live in Canada and have not had to wait so long as you for any ER visits. I also used to take my mom often to ER and though we did wait longer for her conditions due to the busyness of the ER we thankfully never ever had to wait as long as you did. That is atrocious.

  7. I'm surprised, as I've heard only good things about healthcare in Canada. Perhaps the place was crowded and they had many life-threatening cases (heart attack,stroke,car accident casualties). It seems, though, things are deteriorating everywhere in the world, and it's sad that in Canada one gets to be treated like in the third world. Anyway you should have some basic eyedrops at home. It often helps.
    Hope your eye inflammation disappears soon and you feel better.

  8. I'm a Californian who experienced respiratory distress this past November. At one a.m. I woke my wife and she called an ambulance. I was treated immediately at hospital 8 miles from our home and kept in ICU for 30 hours. Hospital billed Medicare directly but I received an ambulance bill for $2,300. Settling the bill was easier than trying to breathe that night, but still, urgent care needs to get more efficient, and that means more medical practitioners.

  9. I'm sorry to read about your bad experience at the hospital, Linda. I hope you are ok. Take care!

  10. Cara Linda mi dispiace molto per la tua esperienza al pronto soccorso.
    Quì in Italia le cose non sono molto diverse; fortunatamente io abito in una città non molto grande, siamo sui 100.000 abitanti e di solito le attese al pronto soccorso sono circa di 5-6 ore.
    Però se consideri che Motreal è molto più grande, in proporzione credo che tu abbia aspettato meno :-(

  11. Over here in the UK the National Health Service...
    Is in a terrible mess! Won't bore you with details,
    there's loads on line news about it...!

    Me! Well, a year ago l went to my Doc's for a repeat
    prescription, told her for the last 6mths l'd been
    having palpitations/breathlessness..She had a listen,
    felt my wrist, next door for an ECG...within an hour,
    l was in hospital, following day, had a pacemaker fitted,
    following l was home! Brilliant! :).

    Though, 9yrs ago it was found, l had arthritis in my
    neck, that has gone on and has now become
    neurological...not good! Do they care..Do they help.
    Neah! They don't give a S***. It's not life threatening
    l suppose...I've now been told, if l experience any
    strange feelings, giddiness, or unwell...Dial 999.

    But A&E over here is terrible..patients left on
    trolley's in corridors for hours, some have even
    died there! The government just don't spend the
    money...spend it on guns, bombs, things for killing
    people better if they just build a hospital,
    put them in A&E they'd probably die of neglect..!

  12. Fortunately, I have never needed urgent help at the hospital. I wish you better Linda.

  13. Hello Linda, I’m so sorry to read about your experience and really hope your eye is feeling much better today.
    People regularly wait for up to four hours in the UK and sometimes much longer. Winter months are always worse than summer months because doctor’s surgeries can’t cope with all the normal ailments and so people turn up at the hospitals.
    On a slightly different note, we’ve been backwards and forwards to the hospital over the last three weeks because Terry’s mum was admitted with pneumonia. She is in her late eighties so it’s been a worrying time and rather than get better she started to get considerably worse to the point where she didn’t know us at all. After much probing and pushing by my husband and father in law the hospital decided to do some more tests and eventually realised she was on far too many tables (prescribed by her doctor) and those combined with all the antibiotics and painkillers the hospital put her on had sent her into an almost comatose state. They have now reduced all the pills, and she is thankfully getting better. Had she been an elderly woman with no family she would just have slipped quietly away. I’ve lost all faith in the medical profession.

  14. What a sad and frustrating situation you had, hope you will feel better soon☺

  15. Actually in Italy the situation isn't better at all, indeed,
    we do hope to be always in good healt ...!

    Hope you're getting better now, Dearie,
    I'm sending blessings on your Sunday

    XOXO dany

  16. I have taken my Dad several times and received attention and treatment straight away. The wait to be admitted into hospital was the trauma waiting on a hospital trolley for several hours. This is in England which on the whole is pretty good. Hope you feel better soon.

  17. Sorry to read about your ER experience, friend L ... Triaging patients is also done here in AB ... I guess it's the only way to handle the steady stream of patients coming in. But with this being said, your particular experience is certainly a terrible one, friend, so sorry. Hope your eye problem is under control? Love, cat.

  18. Hello, sorry you had to go thru this Linda. I have personally have never been to the emergency room just with my son and hubby. My son was flown in a helicopter after an accident on a sled on the ice and my hubby was taken in an ambulance when he passed out. I can only think they go by the case severity. I hope your eye is feeling better, take care.

  19. I am sorry to hear of your ER experience. Your wait seems extraordinary. USA/Pennsylvania

  20. Here in Finland it also takes long time.

  21. I hope your eye is 100% Linda
    I also had problems in public hospitals, waiting for hours, but not in case of emergency, but sometimes we think it is an emergency and it is not so urgent, there are cases more serious that keep the doctors busy
    have a good sunday Linda

  22. Oh dear, I'm so sorry to learn of your predicament! I'm living in Singapore, & our system is rather efficient. Don't think we've to wait for 12 hrs to consult a doctor especially when in the emergency ward........ Hope you're feeling better now, dear. xoxo

  23. Hi. Unfortunately, the same thing is elsewhere (in Finland). On the municipal side you have to wait a long time. Urgency depending on the degree. In fact I was 10 hours. 5 min I went after the doctor wrote the recipe. I was really angry.

    The reason for this is. The doctor shortage. And a lot of patients.

  24. Wow, this is a very long time indeed. I've been to the ER many times here and it's usually a busy place. Never waited that long.

    Sounds like you didn't get any help with your issue either. Not good.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  25. I'm so sorry to hear about your eye and the experience at the hospital. I've been to ER here in the U.S. a couple of times (for family). Wait time was always long but not as long as yours. I hope your eye gets better soon.

  26. Oh my Linda, I'm sorry to hear you went through that and still left with no diagnosis or help at all. You would have gotten better medical treatment if you had sent me a photo of your eye and I gave you advice on what to do. ER waits here in the States are usually a couple of hours at the least. The only time I was taken immediately was when I had been up all night with chest pain. Chest pain will get you seen right away anytime here. It was my heart and I spent the next 12 hrs. or so being watched and tested. I hope your eye is better today.

  27. What a shocking experience Linda. I can't speak from personal experience but there are lots of similar stories about A&E out patients here in the UK. Hope you're feeling a lot better now.

  28. Au Canada, c'est incroyable! Et moi qui me plaint des hopitaux publics de mon pays...
    J'espère que tu vas mieux.
    Gros bisous

  29. Oh, Linda,
    I am so sorry to read about your experience here, I certainly hope it is not normal, and is not the usual.

    Although the NHS in the UK is going through bad times / bad press, I have to say that family members who have been unwell recently and have had to use the service have received brilliant care. Not only were the Doctors and Nurses very good and caring all other staff were too.

    I do send my good wishes and hope all is well with you very soon.

    All the best Jan

  30. Oh Linda, c'est pareil partout, j'habite en campagne près d'un petit village et l'attente est aussi longue à l'hôpital, c'est terrible... J'espère que ton oeil est mieux aujourd'hui... Avec toi de tout coeur!

  31. What a story, Linda ! I was once at 'emergency' in Bruges (B) and went home about 5 hours later...

  32. Oh poor Linda! That sounds horrible. The hospital doesn't have enough docs or help it sounds to me.

    We have a good friend, he recently became a surgeon and he was telling us that one of the 'best' hospitals here in the U.S. has become so greedy that they got rid of all of the physician assistants and started using the med students whom they paid around the same as a waitress and keeping them up til all hours sleep deprived. He shared the hospital was almost completely ran by med students. And don't even get me on the excessive parking expenses for the hospitals in the middle of the city. Greed, greed, greed. Obama care is a joke, no one can even afford it! President Trump will hopefully get things turned around somewhat. Actually, government shouldn't be involved in our medical care in my opinion but the Queen Mary can't make a U-turn! Ha!

    I will say this, I have never heard of an over 12 hour wait! I feel so bad for you to have gone through that. It seems the hospital could have made some kind of arrangements for you. Unbelievable. I hope your eye will heal soon naturally.

    I will pray for your eye Linda, so, so sorry.

    A hug!

  33. I'm not sure if it's because they have a lot of patients to tend to or they have the tendency to entertain the patients with the highest degree of pain first.

    But having an uncomfortable eye problem and having to wait for a gruesome 12 hours are very frustrating. I wish you well and hope you're okay now.

  34. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I hope you get the help you need.
    Yes, it's the same in Australia - it depends on who has the most urgent condition and how many people are waiting. You might be lucky and get in straight away or you could have to wait hours.

  35. I have to agree with Amelia ...Obama care is a joke! And I'm hoping as well that President Trump will turns things around! Anyway, I went to the ER when I fainted in the bathroom and hit my head on the bowl (ouch!). As I was vomiting in the hospital they were asking questions on I had a concussion reason to date on why I fainted and unfortunately was in the ER for 6-7 hours but honestly they were taking lots of tests and they took me in pretty quickly. I'm SO sorry that you had to go through this...and will be praying for a speedy recovery. Keep us updated??!!

  36. Right now i'm not going to read all the previous responses so my own is not clouded.

    Also, i am from the States so your milage may vary.

    The difficulty with going to an emergency room for treatment when you do not have a life-threatening emergency or broken bones or lots of bleeding is that you have to wait for those who do have those things to be treated first. That means that the flu, ear infection, eye infection, sore throat/strep throat, etc., has a tendency to be put lower on the list.

    Someone having a heart attack, or who was in a serious car crash and needs surgery, or other life and limb emergencies are going to get treatment first.

    In some public hospitals here in the US, a wait of 12+ hours to see a doctor in an emergency room is not unheard of if yours is not a matter of life or limb.

    Since i'm not in the medical field, i cannot speak to whether or not this is acceptable, i'm only stating that this is how it can be when your emergency is not as bad as someone else's emergency according to the triage procedure.

    If there were no such life or limb emergencies going on, then you may need to ask for an investigation into why you were kept waiting so long and had to leave without treatment.

  37. It's not great on Sunday evening in Oregon I can tell you (I broke and dislocated my finger last Fall and had pretty much the same experience ... we left (fortunately had a car) and visited an orthopedic clinic the next day.

  38. Everywhere over the world, at one point or another, everybody hada a bad experience with the emergency services.
    Shouldn't be like this, but it is.

  39. I'm so sorry to hear you had this experience. I hope your eye is doing better in spite of the lack of medical attention. I think our longest wait was three hours, but our situation wasn't as serious as others that were coming in with heart pains or broken bones. The person who does the intake does check the vitals about every hour during the wait, I suppose to be sure that the person's condition isn't deteriorating. I'm in the U.S., of course.

  40. Hi Linda. I'm sorry to say I too had a really horrid experience in Montreal emergency room 18 years ago. It was one of the worst ever--the way I was treated by the so-called medical people was astonishing: the intense disrespect that they showed me as a person was one of the worst incedents ever in my life. I was also there for a very long while, and eventually, I literally just walked out, and given how ill I was it was terrible. So I understand. The only places in your city I got resepect and human decency was at some urgent care downtown: they were real pros and treated me great. I did have to pay for it out of pocket, but it was worth it. One friend of mine there is from there and can't get decent medical treatment, so it seems there are some problems. Sorry you had a lousy experience too.

  41. I've been only once for a minor ear ache. I was leaving on a two-week Alaskan tour; one week land, one week cruise, and I wanted to be sure it wasn't serious, fearing I'd be stuck on a glacier or a ship with a real problem.

    I was in and out with my prescription within 30 minutes, start to finish. The earache went away, but when I returned home, the problem kept reoccurring. The ache moved around. My head, my ears, my teeth, my throat. I even went to the dentist for x-rays, fearing I might have an infected tooth.

    I mentioned it to my neighbor and she told me, "Oh, you haven't been here long enough to know it's just Missouri allergies. Get some over-the-counter allergy pills at Walmart and that will take care of it". She was right. I have to take one every few weeks during allergy season. No more problems.

    Hope you're better, Dear One. Maybe your regular physcian will treat you better than ER.

  42. Linda I hope that your eye is now better, this sounds outrageous but I have heard stories like this in the UK although we never experienced it. France has been excellent so far, but to see your GP you have to go and wait as he takes no on the spot appointments but maximum I have ever ever waited is 2 hours when he was very busy. He only takes appointments in 6 months time so we do this every time for out check up and prescription renewal. Appointments with specialists take some time as they are over worked, but emergency appears to be very much on the ball.
    Take care and get better quickly Diane

  43. Finland was sometimes the top of health care.
    No more, about 7 - 10 last years.
    In addition, the municipalities have shared the patients, each with their own doctor named.
    Emergency and first aid is fast,
    But the decision: your own doctor decides how to proceed

  44. I hope you're feeling better. The only time I've been in emergency rooms have been for things that were less urgent than other cases brought in, so there were long waits.

  45. gee whiz- that is just awful and just plain inexcusable. When both my husband and I got up one morning and discovered that our eyes were red runny and itchy- we went to our little local hospital ( we live in a very rural and mountainous area and there are only perhaps 7,000 people in this area of California )and checked in with emergency as it was Sunday. we were both seen at once by the doctor who evaluated and diagnosed us as having contagious pink eye- we got our prescriptions filled right there and went home- it was not even an hour total. Everything was covered by our insurance too! So our experience was totally different.

  46. We have the same problems in Kitchener, Ontario Linda. Although your experience sounds much worse. We have both of us been at times and usually get to see a doctor within an hour or two (bad but not terrible) then we get blood tests which take forever to get results. However, your experience sounds a lot worse than we have had. Hope your eye is better now.

  47. Mi experiencia no fue tan larga como la tuya ya que sufrí una lipotimia sobre las 12 del mediodía y para las 9 de la tarde ya me encontraba en casa.Eso que tengo el hospital como a una hora de viaje, las pruebas me las hicieron sobre las 5 de la tarde.
    Tanto el viaje de ida como de vuelta fue en ambulancia aunque distintas, la primera de emergencias ambas sufragadas por la seguridad social.


  48. That is a terrible experience Linda and I am so sorry you had to go through that. Not good, not good at all. I have never had an experience like this one. My only time in the ER here in he states was when our son had appendicitus and as he was in great pain they took care of him straight away.

  49. Linda that's awful! I'm sorry that you had that experience. First, I hope that your eye has cleared up and that you are feeling better. Second, I can only guess that the person initially evaluating you decided that since you weren't in a life-threatening situation that you could wait. It was so very, very wrong to leave you all that time ~ so disrespectful. I hate it when people think my time is theirs to waste; I can imagine how upset you were. My emergency room experiences have been overall good, but I've been in life-threatening circumstances with internal bleeding. Sending you a big hug!

  50. Oh my! Bless your heart. I honestly think this sort of thing is only going to get worse with the hospitals. I had a mini stroke in Jan. My daughter carried me to the ER. Arrived at around 8:30 am. After midnight that night they finally had an ambulance to come and carry me to a larger hospital in another city. It was CRAZY! My husband whose patience isn't as good as mine and mine is getting worse with age did not do as well with the wait as I did. I hear horror stories all the time with this type of thing. The answers we got for the wait went like this: Shortage of nurses. Too many patients. Waiting on insurance to approve things. And you name it and we heard it. So sorry you went through this too. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  51. So sorry you had to go through this, Linda. That's horrible! I can imagine the anxiety too. I hope you're feeling better now. xoxo

  52. I hope you are feeling better now Linda. That does seem like an incredible long time to wait. I only been to an emergency room once for a severely sprained ankle and waited only a few hours. From what I have read, more people go to an emergency room for treatment and lots of them really don't need to be there. So maybe that is what causes a delay but I think they could at least tell you so you can decide if you want to wait. It's a crazy systems that seems to happen in lots of countries.

  53. Linda, I am so sorry you had to go through this! As you know, I live in Ontario, Canada. When I was really ill, I actually came to emergency in an ambulance. The ambulance drivers stayed with me, until I got in. I was in PAIN and it took me 6 hours to get in. Big Hugs and I do hope you are better?

  54. I have made a few trips to Emergency (just N of Toronto, Ontario) and have always received prompt treatment.... but probably because each time my heart was racing and beating irregularly. If I had a cut finger, the care may not have been as fast.


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