Family waits 4 days for mom to get surgical bed

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It’s no secret that hospitals across the region are overwhelmed with staff shortages, physical and emotional exhaustion and limited bed availability, all brought on by the pandemic.

How is this overloaded system affecting families waiting to receive non-COVID related medical care?

Mona Dababneh is a registered nurse living in San Diego and her mother, Eva Scott, lives in Blair. Scott needed urgent surgery to remove her gallbladder. When a patient comes to the emergency department with such a diagnosis, they are usually operated on the same night or very soon after admission.

“We were waiting in a large hospital for a bed that could accommodate us. We waited 4 days for this bed, it was a long wait. In the meantime, you must hear your loved one waiting in pain,” Dababneh said.

Each day that passed proved torturous for the family.

“It got more and more frustrating and also very emotional because you want to do something and your hands are kind of tied,” said Dababneh.

The doting daughter was in close contact with nurses and her mother’s case manager, who was phoning area hospitals every two hours.

“This was Methodist Hospital, all CHI hospitals, everything their insurance would cover, and all hospitals had no beds,” Dababneh said.

It was beginning to feel like a hopeless quest.

“My mind was always one step ahead. What can I do if I can’t get access, what’s next? I have to take care of my mother, she is my top priority,” Dababneh said.

After much perseverance and advocacy, Eva was given a bed and the surgery she needed at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs with plans to be discharged immediately. A nurse herself, Dababneh thanks those fighting a never-ending battle.

“A nurse and a doctor never want to tell my mother that she has to wait 4 days to have an operation. They know this is not the way things should be practiced,” Dababneh said.

3 News Now reached out to the Nebraska Hospital Association for a response, which read in part, “We all need Nebrascans to continue getting vaccinated so we can maintain bed capacity and provide world-class patient care.”

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