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August 5, 2011

Elderly Stabbing Victim Left Untreated All Night (WA. AUSTRALIA)


Elderly stabbing victim left untreated all night
By Lucy Rickard
August 4, 2011

Carers at the nursing home where an elderly woman was stabbed while she slept have admitted they did not notify police or take her to hospital for up to eight hours after the brutal attack.
The 84-year-old woman, who was believed to be suffering from dementia, activated her call bell for assistance after an unknown man entered her room, stabbed her in the chest and fled.
It was still unclear exactly what time the attack happened, with police saying it was anytime between 10pm and 2am. A nursing home spokeswoman has confirmed the victim was not taken to hospital until 8.45am.
Brightwater Care Group which runs the Birralee facility in Innaloo issued a statement this afternoon after serious questions were raised about how long nursing staff waited before calling for an ambulance.
Group chief executive Penny Flett said the registered nurse on duty was the first to find the elderly woman, and said she "assessed the lady and identified a small wound to her chest that was subsequently dressed".
"The lady was breathing normally and the bleeding from the wound had settled down. She was reassured by staff and made comfortable for the rest of the night."
Dr Flett said it wasn't until the morning shift commenced that it was determined she needed further medical attention and an ambulance was called.

Paramedics arrived at 8.07am, and left for Sir Charlies Gairdner Hospital at 8.45am. It was not until this time that police were notified.
Dr Flett described the attack as being a "totally unexpected and most unusual incident" and said investigations into the attack were continuing.
So far, few details on the offender are available, with police only saying that it was a male.

Security at the facility has also come under scrutiny with no cameras onsite and the centre's main gates not locked overnight.
Police patrolled the centre's grounds for the nights following the attack. Dr Flett said security at the centre would be reviewed as part of normal procedure following such an incident.
The woman has since returned to a Brightwater facility however it was not clear if she was back at Birralee.



SOURCE:     WA Today
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