Thessaloniki: An unprecedented journalist’s complaint about the cruelty of the medical staff

“The nurses beat and tied up my father in the hospital,” reports journalist Nikos Aslanidis in a complaint against the staff of the Papageorgiou hospital in Thessaloniki.

According to him, his 98-year-old father was the victim of ill-treatment in the hospital. He was hospitalized, and the next day, the journalist says, the old man faced unprecedented cruelty:

“He begged the nurses to give him pajamas because he was naked from the waist down and he was cold. The nurses ignored him and he got out of bed to take it out of his bag and put it on. As soon as he returned to his bed, two nurses appeared, put bars on his bed and tied his hands with gauze … He asked in vain why he was being tied up. They did not answer him, but they tried to tie him up by force … My father called other elderly patients for help, but no one helped him, apparently because they were afraid that they would receive the same “treatment”. Although the father is 98 years old, he tried to react and pushed the nurse with his right hand, but she began to hit him on the arm, leaving bruises that are still visible. After that, he “surrendered” and was tied up … “.

Mr. Aslanidis addressed the Minister of Health of Greece, Thanos Pleuris, quotes him thestival.gr:

“Mr. Minister, my father was lucky in this test. But I wonder how many patients are so unfortunate, because upon request I was informed that many hospitals follow the same tactics! The official excuse is that the binding is done for their own good… But who decides who and when to bind? What are the criteria? Limited medical staff claims that they do not have time to answer all patients, so they resort to this solution … But is this legal? A year ago, you quite rightly passed a law providing for severe penalties for tying animals (shepherd). Is it possible to allow the binding of patients?

Full text of the complaint filed by Nikos Aslanidis:

“Mr Minister.

On 08/25/2022, I took my elderly father Georgios Aslanidis, aged 98, to the emergency department of Papageorgiou Hospital in Thessaloniki, as he had hematuria. The doctor on duty decided that he needed to be hospitalized, and he was admitted to the urological clinic of the same hospital.

As you know, due to the pandemic, the entry of accompanying persons is prohibited, and the nurse who received him assured me that I do not need to worry, because he will be taken care of in the best possible way. The hospital staff informed me that the doctors of the urological clinic would inform me by phone the next day about his state of health.

The next day (26/8), seeing that they did not contact me, I called the doctor on duty at 20:00, and he said that the hematuria had decreased, but my father was a little worried …

Given that my father does not have a mobile phone and I cannot talk to him, I called the next morning (08/27) and spoke to a nurse who told me that my father had been crying all night … I asked her what reason, the answer was that he probably had dementia … I assured her that my father may be 98 years old, but he not only does not have dementia, but, on the contrary, is distinguished by clarity of mind. He never created any problems. In fact, ten months ago, when he was admitted to the Gennimatas Hospital in Thessaloniki for the same reason, the nurses noted his responsiveness.

I had to go to Papageorgiou to see what was going on. My father complained, asked me to sign the documents and take him home after the hematuria stopped. After receiving instructions from the doctor on duty, I signed and went to my father’s room. There I found him sound asleep. I woke him up and with difficulty put him in a wheelchair to take him to my home in Giannitsa.

He slept all the way and for the next 18-20 hours … Apparently he was under the influence of some kind of sleeping pill, because my father does not sleep more than 6-7 hours a day. I had a hard time waking him up every two hours as instructed by the doctor and giving him water to drink because there was a risk of dehydration. When he finally managed to wake up the next morning (8/28), I asked him how he felt and then he told me his incredible story.

The day after his hospitalization (8/26), he begged the nurses for pajamas because he was naked from the waist down and was cold. The nurses ignored him and he got out of bed to take it out of his bag and put it on. As soon as he returned to his bed, two nurses appeared, put rods on his bed and tied his hands with gauze … In vain did he ask why he was being tied up. They did not answer him, but they tried to tie him up by force …

My father called for help from other elderly patients, but no one helped him, apparently because they were afraid that they would receive the same treatment. Although he is 98 years old, he tried to react and pushed the nurse with his right hand, but she began to hit him on the arm, leaving bruises that are still visible. After that, he “surrendered” and was tied up…

The father does not remember how many hours he was bound. What he remembers vividly is the feeling of fear that his end has come… As he characteristically said, if I had not gone to pick him up from the hospital, he would have died because his heart was “fluttering”… It should be taken into account that he has a serious heart problem (atrial fibrillation), and this fact was known to the medical staff, because I stated it from the first moment, they even noted the medications he was taking.

Mr. Minister. My father was lucky in this ordeal. But I wonder how many patients are so unlucky, because on request I was informed that many hospitals follow the same practice!

The official excuse is tying up for their own good… But who decides who and when to tie up? What are the criteria? The few medical staff claim that they do not have time to answer all the patients, so they resort to this solution … But is it legal?

A year ago, you quite rightly passed a law providing for severe penalties for tying animals (shepherd). Is it allowed to link patients?

Looking forward to your immediate action to stop this unacceptable phenomenon, I am at your disposal for any clarification.”

Nikos Aslanidis is a journalist.



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