The parents of a three-year-old boy, who waited for hours in Accident and Emergency at the Mid Western Regional Hospital Limerick with a head wound, have told The Clare People that it was the longest, most stressful time of their lives.
Little Colm Murrihy, who will be four next month, waited for five hours to have his head wound glued and dressed, while blood seeped through the interim first aid bandage his father Leslie had treated him with.
Mother Elaine said she was frustrated and annoyed by the Sunday evening wait but most of all she was worried as the wound continued to bleed.
“He was losing so much blood. The bandage was thick and it was still coming through it,” said Elaine from Ennis. Colm had been playing on his toy car at his grandparent’s house in Kilmihil on Sunday afternoon last when he stopped a bit too suddenly and went over the top of his car.
The adventurous toddler landed on his head, resulting in a deep cut on his forehead.
“I had first-aid experience so I knew it was a deep cut. I bandaged it up and we drove to the A & E in Limerick,” said Mr Murrihy.
A while after registering at the hospital Mrs Murrihy accompanied the the wounded toddler through to triage to be assessed.
There began the mother’s first cause for concern as the bandage was not removed and the wound assessed by the nurse.
“I was just asked about what happened but no one looked at the cut. I was told we would probably be waiting a while. I was expecting an hour or two,” she said.
After a while spent back out in the waiting room the blood began to seep through the home made bandage, causing the parents-of-two to worry.
Mrs Murrihy said she asked that the little boy be seen so that the bandage could at least be changed but said she was told that was not necessary, as the blood “was not dripping”.
“I was very worried, and as we waited we could see people who came in after us being taken in.
They had wounds to arms and legs but I was really worried because Colm had a head injury,” she said.
Four and a half hours after arriving in Limerick Accident and Emergency, and six hours after the fall, medical staff got to see the wound for the first time.
Brave little Colm sat as the wound was glued together and he was then sent home.
However since then Mr and Mrs Murrihy have had to take their young son to the GP twice.
By Monday the cut had started to bleed again and by Wednesday Colm was on antibiotics for a severe infection in the wound.
The young parents said they are annoyed at how their son was treated and remain worried about his injury.
“It was the longest time I have spent in my life, trying to keep an eye on him in A and E and being so worried about a head injury,” said Mrs Murrihy.
The Clare People contacted the HSE on Friday in relation to these claims, but the paper was still awaiting a reply at time of press.

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Claire Gallagher is a multi-award winning journalist with more than 15 years experience in media. The Galwegan began her career in radio working in news and current affairs. Having spent a year on the dark side – political PR and Spin – she returned to journalism and has since then worked mainly in print – regional and national – while continuing to work with the broadcast media. She has been with the Clare People since its foundation in 2005. She was awarded “Young Irish Medical Journalist of the Year” in June 2008 while working with the paper. Twitter @galocon Facebook ClaireGallagherClarePeople

1 COMMENT

  1. Had a very similar experience last night at the same hospital. My 2.5yr old was waiting for 3.5hrs before being reviewed by a doctor for a head injury. Absolutely disgraceful.

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