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Toilet roof caves in on Mt Hope nurse

Published: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018
A close up of the caved-in section of the roof.

A 28-year-old nurse is now said to be suffering from serious and consistent headaches accompanied by nausea after suffering a concussion when part of the ceiling fell on her while in a staff washroom at the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital last week.

The woman is now awaiting a neurological examination, which is the assessment of sensory neuron and motor responses, especially reflexes, to determine whether her nervous system is impaired.

Speaking with Guardian Media under strict anonymity, a nurse said the injured nurse, who is a junior, was on the night shift around 11.30 last Thursday when she went to one of the staff washrooms. The nurse said there was no toilet paper and when she decided to go in search of some the ceiling came crashing down on the junior nurse.

“She was struck on the head by a piece of iron or something metal. So it wasn’t just a ceiling tile made of soft and fibre materials. She was struck by something hard on the head,” the woman said.

The junior nurse also had to wait for one hour before seeing the lone female doctor on the shift that night. But between Friday to Tuesday, the nurse has been taken to the emergency department for more treatment and her pain medication has also been increased to a stronger dose. She has also had two CT scans and an X-ray to determine the root of her injury, and after dialogue with the head nurse, arrangements are now being made to have a neurological examination done.

This incident has raised serious concerns among staff, who have now asked the management of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) to carry out extensive infrastructural checks not only in the area where it happened but to the entire Mount Hope Women’s Hospital.

“We have a lot of babies here and people, including over 25 members of staff, including doctors and consultants passing through.”

Photographs of the scene were sent to Guardian Media showing the collapsed ceiling and hanging pieces of metal. There was also a piece of metal and tile pieces on the ground.

The matter was raised by Public Services Association president Watson Duke when a group of trade unions appeared before a Joint Select Committee yesterday. (See page A10)

Contacted on the matter, NCRHA’s manager corporate communications Peter Neptune said, “The investigation is still proceeding so I don’t have a report I can cite for a comment.”

However, an NCRHA official said yesterday that since the incident they had heard various versions about what happened and added that as far as they were aware, “it was just a foam tile that hit the nurse.”

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