Family of man who shared hospital room with Covid patient 'extremely worried'

Source: 1News

The daughter of a 91-year-old man who shared a hospital room with a person who later tested positive for Covid-19 says her dad and their family are "incredibly upset" this could have happened, and "extremely worried" for his health.

The elderly man, who shared a room with three others in a surgical ward at Middlemore Hospital on Sunday told 1 NEWS one of them was admitted at 7am that day, and his "sneezing and coughing and made us all worried".

The patients were in the Edmund Hillary Block ward.

An employee at the hospital confirmed the Covid-positive case to 1 NEWS on Sunday evening.

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, the 91-year-old man's upset daughter said the symptomatic person should have been immediately removed from the shared room when they were awaiting a Covid-19 test.

"A sick person, an elderly sick person, now through no fault of his own, but incompetence, exposed to a very deadly Covid virus," the woman, who only wants to be referred to as Fiona, said.

Later on Breakfast, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson confirmed the patient entered hospital on an unrelated matter and then tested positive for Covid-19.

All other patients on the ward will be tested and go into isolation, he said, admitting the situation was “clearly disturbing” for patients in the room.

However, Fiona said, "We're just incredibly upset that the person who was tested was left in the room while they waited for the results to come through.

"That is terribly upsetting and quite frankly I would have thought not their protocol at all, and stupid, I don't know if there's another word for it. As soon as he was tested he should have been removed until a test result came back, hopefully negative, unfortunately for him not negative."

Fiona said she was called by a doctor late Sunday afternoon to advise her of the situation and to say there were meetings going on.

But the vaccinated 91-year-old's family, who are also all vaccinated, have been unable to visit him. He's been in hospital on his own since the early weekend.

Fiona said fortunately her dad can use a mobile phone extremely well, so they are able to keep in contact with him.

"But it's a very stressful time," she added.

Her dad was in hospital because he was unwell and potentially facing surgery. It's unclear if his treatment is now on hold as he and the other patients in the room lock down in the ward.

"There's going to be a lot of staff affected by that, you know, it's not just the three patients in the ward, but it's the doctors, the specialists, the nurses, the support staff, you know, the cleaners, the people who bring the food in - they will be exposed as well, it's not just a small group, it's potentially a huge number of professional staff," Fiona said.

Robertson told Breakfast staff were wearing full PPE.

Health authorities will look to find out more information, he said.

Concerned daughter Fiona says her dad and their family are "incredibly upset" over the incident at Middlemore Hospital.