An elderly woman lost four of her front teeth and suffered stitches to her upper lip after a nasty fall during her stay at the National University Hospital (NUH).
According to Lianhe Wanbao, the incident happened on Oct. 29, at around 3am.
According to a Facebook post by the daughter on Oct. 29, her mother had been warded in NUH for an artery surgery, and was undergoing recovery.
She told Wanbao that her mother, aged 70, had been identified as a patient with "risk of falling", due to a frail heart capacity.
The ward had also been outfitted with a motion sensor, so that once her mother moved, the device would emit a sound to alert the nurse on duty to check in on her mother.
The device was allegedly so sensitive that when her sister had visited their mother in hospital, she had to cover the device or put it down, so that it would not trigger it to emit sounds.
Fell down while going to toilet
The fall reportedly happened in the wee hours of the morning.
According to the daughter, her mother had fallen down while trying to go to the toilet.
Upon hearing a thud, the nurse hurried in, only to see the elderly woman already on the floor.
In her Facebook post, the daughter wrote that after the incident, the nurse had explained that it had happened because the motion sensor was of "low battery" then, and had not sensed her mother's movement.
Speaking to Wanbao, the daughter shared that she and her family had found the reason given unsatisfactory, which was why they had eventually decided to post about the incident on social media.
"When the nurses check on the patients every two hours, they should also check if the motion sensor is sufficiently charged. Although they have apologised, and said that they will investigate the matter further, we still want to know if the incident happened because of negligence on the hospital's part."
Photos of the elderly woman after the incident showed bruising on the face, stitches on the upper lip, and a few dislodged bloody teeth.
The daughter shared that because of the incident, her mother's discharge date, initially set for last weekend, had been delayed by another two weeks.
According to the daughter's Facebook post, the family alleged that there were two incidents at NUH prior to the fall.
The first had been after the artery surgery – her mother had fainted while in the toilet, and the nurse had allegedly just stood there, and did not support her.
The second involved a nurse reportedly forcing her mum to finish her dinner, even though her mum had felt unwell.
The daughter told Wanbao they had reflected the latter incident to the hospital then, and did not pursue the first upon learning that the nurse had been an intern.
You can find the full Facebook post here:
Statement from NUH
In response to queries from Mothership, an NUH spokesperson said they have met with the patient's family following the incident, and are investigating the incident further.
Here's the statement in full:
"We are aware of a Facebook post about a patient who fell and sustained injury in our ward. We have met the patient’s family after the incident to address their concerns and are investigating the cause of the incident.
Patient care remains our top priority and we have arranged for the patient to be monitored closely. We are sorry for the experience of the family and are in close contact with them to provide support."
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