Man suffers stroke not found for 20 hours 237



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A man who suffered a stroke lay unconscious on the ground for more than 20 hours before being found, and today we learn the tragic news that the man has passed away.

While this story is not too uncommon, what’s shocking is that the man was in hospital when the stroke occurred.

The 67-year-old was an outpatient at the Royal North Shore Hospital, waiting for an appointment for diabetes treatment. Security footage confirms that he arrived for his appointment 1t 9.30am then, at some stage, nipped to the loo.

The man’s wife called the hospital on Monday night to ask if they had seen him, but was told he didn’t show up for his appointment.

It wasn’t until 6.30am the next morning that a cleaner found the man in the toilets in a critical condition.

He later died in hospital.

The hospital has launched an investigation into the incident, which has prompted the hospital to alter its end-of-day operations, and has firmed up it’s end of day policies to ensure that toilets are checked at the end of  every day.

But that’s too late for the man and his devastated wife. A spokeswoman for the hospital said the man’s family have asked for privacy.

This is not this first time this Sydney hospital has been rocked by scandal. In 2007 a 14-weeks pregnant woman miscarried in a public toilet, sparking a public inquiry.

Are you shocked to learn that this could happen, in a hospital? Are nurses too busy to notice who comes into outpatient clinics? Could this have happened to anyone?

What do you think needs to be done to make sure something like this never happens again? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. All the people coming and going how could anyone keep track.

  2. It not the nurses fault!!!!!!

    6 REPLY
    • Of course it’s not the nurses’ fault…. But you think a member of the public would have noticed the poor guy in the toilet

    • Well who’s fault is it? Some one must have noticed he was missing for his appointment so why not check the toilet?

      1 REPLY
      • And people don’t turn up for appts without calling. They also turn up, look at the wait time & leave without notifying anyone. This is just an unfortunate event……why do we always have to have someone to blame in our time of grief

    • I agree this is not the nurse’s fault, the fault I think lays with The Government for cutting back staff and funding. Nurses can’t be expected to do every job.

    • Monica, The story said he had not checked in. How would admin know he was even on the premises if he hadn’t booked in.
      Pam, he was an Outpatient he didn’t have a bed at the hospital.
      I will say it is terrible that he was seen entering the hospital on CCTV but not leaving. That is when the police should have ordered a search of the hospital.

      1 REPLY
      • Have you any idea how many thousands of people enter a hospital every day……ridiculous idea. It’s like saying we should do the same for all the people on CCT entering & leaving a shopping centre

  3. What immediately struck me with that tragic story, is that these toilets are only cleaned once a day, this is a Public Hospital, people go there because they are sick, and some may have communicable disease, they should be cleaned more than once a day and if they had been that man may still be alive

    12 REPLY
    • This is why disease in hospitals on rise. The cleaning has been cut back so severely it is crucial to stopping spread. I remember when I worked as a cleaner it had several shifts and done several time in a shift

    • Hospital toilets should be cleaned every few hours, as there are always ‘accidents’ that need urgent clean up – so sad that at the end of each day they are not checked ……..

    • Very true Libbi, it’s time to go back to the “good ole” days. Remember the lady that sat at the door and was always busy checking and cleaning the toilets especially in a hospital?

    • That was the first thought that came to my mind also Libbi. The hygiene in hospitals is scary! Those dirty mops that get a quick swoosh around and the linen from the patient before you left on the floor and the toilet in a disgraceful mess. The plastic waste bags all over flowing! There’s your reason for those bigger better resistant bugs! Don’t start me on the lack of hygiene of our public toilets!

      1 REPLY
      • It is a scary thought. I go into hospital for surgery every 5 months and see a lot of things that were unheard of many years ago.
        1. a quick mop over the floor of the ward at 7am. the same bucket for the whole floor yuk!! and then again before 6pm.
        Laundry bags are overflowing most of the day . Used towels left in bathroom.No hygene is a word not understood anymore

    • So so right they should be cleaned and sanitised after each use, there should be a cleaner stationed in each toilet block for this reason, and each toilet should be checked every hour or surely it could be computerised to let them know that somebody has been in the toilet for an exorbitant amount of time, this should never have happened and is a huge worry,

    • They clean toilets more often at the airport, for goodness sale! Very unsatisfactory that hospitals don’t have equal importance.

    • Spot on Libbi. I too wondered how anyone could spend 24 hours in a hospital toilet undiscovered. If the toilets are indeed being cleaned on a 24 hour cycle it is a disgrace.

  4. So very sad.. Sending luv to his family.. All about money and costs.. No about people, that’s sad also..

  5. I sat in a clinic for nearly an hour yesterday after booking in and after they had asked me to come in early to be seen immediately. Went to the counter to be told I should have booked in by the person who booked me in! Yes they are understaffed and overworked.

  6. I just wonder if there was an emergency button in the toilet. Also nurses are busy enough. I would have thought being an outpatients dept. cleaning would only be required once or Twice a day at the most. A very sad event for all concerned.

  7. This is unacceptable, both for the reason that Libbi Elliot said and because it appears that no-one cares anymore. Many people must have been in and out of the toilet through the day and no-one checked if the poor man was o.k. Are we too busy to care?

    6 REPLY
    • if you go to the toilet & the next cubicle is occupied do you knock & ask if they r ok? of course you don’t. you do your business & leave. what a stupid attitude

    • sadly Coral you are right people would have been in and out of the toilet how was this missed for goodness sake 20hrs is a darn long time

    • Yes… but you go in and you go out… some people take longer than others – you’re not there for long enough to know that someone hasn’t come out. Happens all the time to me (I work in a public hospital). My office is in a corridor where a lot of people go past all the time… the toilet is just about next door to my office – and a lot of the time it is occupied… am I supposed to know that it’s the same person who’s been in there for hours? Don’t get me wrong, this is very very sad that this has happened – but it’s not fair to say someone should have noticed.

    • Maybe you are right Julie M Stengewis , I have a stupid attitude, but I think country people notice and care more. I have called and asked if someone was ok more than once if it seemed not, usually get an answer, ok, thanks for checking. On one occasion a small girl was unable to undo the door and was sobbing., was able to talk her through it

    • we have been taught not to interfere .we have been sued for interfering we have been murdered for interfering and we have been branded sexual deviates for interfering ..DO YOU REALLY WONDER WHY WE HAVE LOST OUR CONFIDENCE IN BEING INVOLVED???

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