Family members of a Canadian woman who died in the emergency room after waiting seven hours to be seen blame health care system complications.
According to reports, on New Year’s Eve, wife and mother Allison Holthoff, 37, went to the hospital. She had been complaining that she wasn’t feeling well and had pain in her abdomen that continued to increase over time.
In response to her worsening condition, Holthoff’s husband, Gunter, took her to the hospital. Seven hours passed before anyone arrived to help her, but she died in the end. According to Gunter, the cause of the death of his wife is still unknown.
On New Year’s Eve, Gunter said he found his wife lying in the hallway after she attempted to take a bath in hopes of easing the pain she was experiencing.
According to reports, Holthoff completed triage at 11:20 am and then waited in a temporary room in the hospital’s foyer. Her pain significantly intensified over the next few hours as Holthoff waited to enter an examination room.
As Holthoff waited for seven hours in extreme pain, nurses took blood and urine samples. One nurse asked near the end if Holthoff “was always like this.”. Holthoff couldn’t handle it anymore; at about 6 pm, she started screaming in pain.
According to reports, Holthoff ended up needing to be resuscitated three times. Her chances of surviving were slim, and doctors would not pursue surgery. Holthoff died there at the hospital.
Allison’s memorial shared that she had an “incredible heart and love for her family” and was “full of life and spunk.” She died at the age of 37.
Doctors told Gunter that his wife had suffered from internal bleeding, but they could not determine the origin of the bleeding.
During a press conference, Gunter said, “Unfortunately, I do feel like she was neglected, and it was to a point where they couldn’t ignore us anymore.” The grieving husband added, “It was a terrible situation for my wife, for my kids, and a lot of people in the community. I’m just lost.”
A statement was released by the Canadian Health and Wellness Minister, Michelle Thompson; it read, “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the patient who died at Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre,” Thompson added to the statement, “This is a tragic loss, and my heart goes out to them. I understand they want answers.”
An investigation is underway, according to Thompson. She said, “Nova Scotia Health has begun an investigation, known as a quality review, into this case to determine what happened, how we can do better, and what we can do to prevent it from happening in the future.”
In September, Gunter said, his wife fell off a horse and had complained of pain ever since the fall.
Holthoff was buried on Saturday by her family.