Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 17, 2014

YOUR VIEW: Community deserves Emergency Medical Service with expanded resources

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Dear Editor,

On Feb. 24, an article appeared in the Glasgow Daily Times regarding the Barren-Metcalfe Ambulance Service. In that article, Tim Gibson was quoted as saying that an elderly woman with a fractured hip had remained at the hospital for more than five hours awaiting transport. I can speak to this statement better than anyone – that elderly woman was my 80-year-old mother.

On Feb. 17, she fell at her home and was transported quickly by the Barren-Metcalfe Ambulance Service to T.J. Samson. By noon, the diagnosis was made that her hip was fractured and she would require surgery.

My mother is a cancer survivor with numerous other health issues. Since her specialists are located in Bowling Green, it was decided that she would be transferred there for the surgery so they would be available for joint care and consultations.

At that point, the nightmare began.

The staff at T.J. Samson talked with the surgeon and everything was on track for a relatively quick surgery, as soon as she could be transported. Hours dragged by as the staff at T.J. continued to talk with the Barren-Metcalfe Ambulance Service, as well as ambulance services in surrounding counties, explaining that a team was awaiting my mother’s arrival. The surgeon continued to call and ask for updates for her transfer. During those many hours the staff at T.J. attempted to control her pain. She continued to beg for a drink of water, which was withheld expecting a transfer and surgery “at any moment.” At 5 p.m. an ambulance was finally available to make the trip for the transfer.

Due to the many delays, the surgery was postponed until the next day, leaving her in pain throughout a long evening.

I write this not to complain about any of the services. The staff at T.J. Samson went above and beyond in trying to accomplish the transfer. The employees at Barren-Metcalfe Ambulance Service were professional and handled the situation to the best of their ability – with limited resources.

I am writing this to highlight an issue that I happen to, unfortunately, have personal knowledge.

I realize that funds are limited and the solution is not an easy one. However, the health and welfare of our families, friends and neighbors are being negatively impacted, and I sincerely hope that the governing body will consider these issues as they form their decision.

Sheila Hogue