Guam – The financial crisis at Guam Memorial Hospital is about more than money. Its about patients sleeping in dirty sheets, and patients in pain.
The frustration boiled over in a phone call made to the K-57 Breakfast Show Wednesday morning when a nurse, who had just finished the night shift, called in to express her frustration.
The nurse identified herself as Olga. She said she had to report to the day shift that only 10 clean sets of sheets to change patient beds were left on her floor.
GMH is facing a financial crisis. It owes $22 million dollars to various vendors. And that has caused shortages of more than just linen.
The nurse said in one recent case, she was reduced to tears after sitting up all night trying to comfort a cancer patient who was in pain because the hospital had run out of the pain killer the patient needed. Patient care has been “compromised” she said.
She described another case in which surgery had to be cancelled for a patient because of a lack of supplies in the operating room.
“Its not an elective surgery,.” said the Nurse, “it needs to be done now. You know if someone is building fluid in their stomach, that needs to be drained. And if they don’t get it drained … the patient is going to buildup blood pressure, their heart may not tolerate it. The patient is gonna go down,” she said.
Nurse Olga said she was not afraid of being reprimanded for making the public call to K-57. She said “I would be glad to hear about this call … because no one seems to care … it gets to the point where I don’t feel like I’m practicing safe medicine.”
Attempts were made to contact GMH Administrators today but they could not be reached. They were off for the day, because of the holiday.