Medical transport ‘totally unacceptable’

Dear editor,

I am writing about my recent experience in being transported by Life Support Patient Transport from Victoria to Comox.

Dear editor,

I am writing about my recent experience in being transported by Life Support Patient Transport from Victoria General Hospital to St. Joseph’s General Hospital.

This was a return trip and procedure all done within the one day.

I was picked up at 8:30 p.m. from my bed to return and taken down the elevator on a stretcher and into the vehicle operated by Life Support Patient Transport. We then drove to Duncan’s Tim Horton’s, as I was desperate for a washroom.

I had been cold at the beginning of our trip and ask for the heat to be put on. I was told the thermostat was not working on the heater, so please to let them know when I was warm. I had to ask again for some heat, so they then tossed another blanket over me. I was not asked at any point in my trip about my comfort level.

The trip was frustrating, painful and agonizing. Due to the lack of suspension in the vehicle, it was jarring my body constantly; so it was necessary for me to brace myself as well as possible. I had an extremely sore and painful back and buttocks after some time.

The driver also seemed to have difficulty staying centered in the lane and was frequently going onto the rumble strips at the side of the road. Any acceleration from a stop or extreme slowdown, seemed to allow diesel exhaust fumes in, which was also very unpleasant.

Upon returning to the Comox Valley, I was told that they would be stopping at the driver’s home to drop him off, as he had been working since 6 a.m. Rumble strips?

So, the only person left to drive me on to the hospital was the attendant. Upon our arrival at the nurses’ station at St. Joseph’s, it was commented (while looking up at the clock), “You must have been travelling to get here by this time! (not even knowing that there had been two stops in that time period).”

One would think that VIHA would be able to supply medical transport for patients with safety, air quality, comfort and professional caring staff.

I truly found this experience totally unacceptable.

E.W. Shaw,

Comox

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