Police opens inquiry into case of woman who died after 16-hour wait at hospital in eastern Romania

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Police have opened an investigation into a case of suspected homicide after a 69-year old woman died after waiting for more than 16 hours for treatment at a hospital in the Black Sea port of Constanta.

The woman arrived at the Constanta County Hospital on February 1 at about 7 am, complaining of chest and stomach pains.

 After 12 hours she was given an EKG, and was moved to a bed four hours after that. She died in her son’s arms an hour later.

The son filed a complaint with the police which on Tuesday opened a homicide investigation.

“When I asked the nurses to intervene, they were arrogant and said we could file a complaint to God,” the son, Constantin Popa told Digi 24. “There weren’t any medics around, nobody came to look at her for four hours when I was there. All the doctors appeared when she was intensive care,” he said.

Medics at the hospital say the woman was treated as a ‘green code’ patient meaning she had to be seen by a doctor within at most 60 minutes. The hospital has also opened its own inquiry.

 “The woman was consulted half an hour after she came to the hospital… Unfortunately, in the evening she deteriorated, “hospital manager Catalin Grasa said. “She was sent to intensive care, but she didn’t respond, unfortunately. If she’d had a clear diagnosis, she’d have been admitted,” he said.

 Police and the hospital are waiting for the results of the autopsy to establish the cause of the woman’s death.

Waiting times in emergency departments of hospitals are legally between 0 and 240 minutes, depending on the severity of the case.

Medics and hospitals can be fined if patients wait longer than the legal time frame. Doctors face fines of up to 3,000  lei and hospitals can be fined a maximum of 30,000 lei.


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