Labour shortage, in general, has become a serious problem in Hungary in the past years. Lots of people move West in the hopes of better salaries and a better future. This is no different in the health sector, either – lots of nurses and doctors move abroad. Now, it seems like the lack of radiologists in a Budapest hospital has claimed its first victim.
A few weeks ago, it was revealed that Honvéd Hospital in Budapest has not had a radiologist since September, risking the safe treatment of patients. The fears turn out to have been valid, as a middle-aged woman lost her life because her illness was not diagnosed in time.
She was transported from one location to the other three times; however, by the time she was taken into surgery, it was too late.
Ever since the last radiologist decided to resign, the hospital has been unable to organise ultrasound examinations that require the assistance of a medical professional. This resulted in the terrible situation that, currently, patients have to be transported to a different hospital in Budapest to undergo this examination, they are then taken back to their original hospital where a doctor decides the next steps in light of the results from the other hospital.
The death of this woman came to light in a Facebook post by Zsombor Kunetz, a medical expert and oxyologist – reports NlCafé. His post reveals that the woman was taken to the emergency room of Honvédkorház with constant cramps, blood pressure of 200 and very close to fainting. She was then transported to the hospital in Podmaniczky Street, only to be transported back after waiting two hours in vain as there was no radiologist.
After even more hours of waiting around, they finally got to do the ultrasound examination that revealed that the patient was suffering from vasoconstriction that killed a part of her intestines.
She went into surgery the next day; however, it was too late by that time. According to her daughter, too much of her intestines were dead; the doctors found that she was in a state not compatible with life. The woman passed away the next morning.
Her daughter wrote in a letter that:
“I can’t escape the thoughts of what if she got professional treatment in time, what if the speed of the examinations matched the severity of her condition and she got to surgery sooner (36 hours had passed between the first call to the emergency and the surgery, and this is a very rapidly progressing disease), maybe then she could have been saved.”
Dr Kunetz added that, unfortunately, this is a disease that is very hard to recognise, so the mortality rate is quite high even in places with a well-developed healthcare system.
“However, for once this was not a case when the patient was turned away. They did start the examinations. Unfortunately, though – as I have written multiple times before – Honvéd Hospital operates an emergency surgical service despite the basic requirements not being met. They do not have a radiologist who could have instantly done the examination.”
For more news, check out this article about the tragedy of a British woman who died because of a plastic surgery in Budapest.