AN INVESTIGATION is underway at University Hospital Limerick after a man was found dead with a broken neck on the ground next to his trolley, in the hospital’s emergency department.
The news has emerged in a week in which a new record for people waiting on trolleys was reached in the hospital with a national high of 92 on Monday.
It is understood that the middle-aged man was found to have a broken neck, but exactly how he received the injury has yet to be determined.
“He was in an isolated area of the emergency department,” a medical source told the Limerick Leader, “it appears no one saw him fall from his trolley, but he was found on the ground with a broken neck.”
While the hospital will not comment officially on the matter, the Limerick Leader understands that the incident happened just before Christmas.
“An investigation is underway, and there will be an inquest into the matter, where the cause of death will be determined,” said a high-ranking medical source.
“We don’t know if he arrived here with the injury or whether it was caused by the fall, but there is an investigation and people have given their version of events,” added the source.
When contacted a spokesperson for the hospital said: “For reasons of patient confidentiality, we cannot comment on individual cases. All serious incidents are managed through the HSE Integrated Risk Management Policy.”
The Limerick Leader has also learned of a 73-year-old woman who awaited a bed for four days in the hospital’s ED on blood-stained bedding, despite being diagnosed with a blood infection.
Ann McNicholas’ daughter Sharon Noonan said: “When they were inserting the needle, on two different occasions she spurted out blood and it went on the sheet and her clothes, yet shortly after the doctor, having looked at her notes from her tests, told her she had a blood infection.