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Posted: 9/9/2004 3:15:10 PM EDT

Corridors and cowbells for patients

A 72-year-old woman was shocked by her stay in Harstad Hospital. Berte Sareussen was placed in the corridor and said that several patients were put in a hallway and given cowbells to summon assistance, newspaper Harstad Tidende reports.

"The conditions were disgraceful," Sareussen told the newspaper.

Sareussen was admitted on a Thursday and counts herself lucky that she was healthy enough to sneak home for a night's sleep on Sunday. She was placed in a corridor with a bell ringing constantly over her head and nursing staff running back and forth around her bed.

"It felt like I was lying in the middle of a major highway," she said.

The woman refused to spend another sleepless night in the hallway and managed to sneak her bed into a tiny, windowless examining room.

On Sunday four or five elderly patients were moved from their rooms and into the hallway as space became scarce.

"They were placed behind a screen in the corridor. At least one of them was given a cowbell to call help. This bell was heard several times," Sareussen told the newspaper, and called the situation shameful and crazy.

She had enough, and just went home. Sareussen returned the next day in order to be officially discharged.

"I feel sorry for those who work there. They had difficult conditions but they were fantastic. My criticism goes to the hospital management who are responsible for some very sick people lying in a hallway. They have plenty of directors, they should make sure there are enough rooms for patients. Today you have to be healthy to be in a hospital," Sareussen said.

Hospital officials were not immediately available for comment
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 5:13:15 PM EDT
I've got a fever, and the only perscription is more cowbell.
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