Emergency Call from Emergency Room

Vala Hafstað

Nurses who work in Landspítali National University Hospital’s emergency room in Reykjavík sent a statement to the media yesterday, in which they describe their worries regarding the current situation in the ER, mbl.is reports.

They describe a situation where patients lie on benches in hallways, in rooms intended for staff lunch breaks, and even in rooms meant for patients’ family members.

“Every day, we face a situation where ambulances wait with patients on stretchers, due to a lack of space,” the statement reads, and every day, the ER waiting room is full of sick and injured people, who wait up to six hours to be examined, diagnosed and treated. Day after day, the number of patients exceeds 80 in a space intended for 36 sick and injured people. Day after day, up to 30 patients wait to be admitted to the hospital’s inpatient unit, and when the situation is the worst, between 40 and 50 patients wait to be admitted to the inpatient unit.”

The nurses express worry that patient safety cannot be guaranteed, since nurses, as well as other staff members, are overworked during their shifts, for weeks or months on end.

“There is indifference toward the ER,” they state. “No one seems to intend to shoulder responsibility; there is no reaction.” 

“[T]his statement is issued as an emergency call for reaction and measures to solve this serious problem,” the statement concludes.

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