Tragedy in Termini Imerese: elderly woman falls from stretcher and dies

A fatal accident that should have been avoided

A tragic incident with incredible implications occurred in Termini Imerese, in the province of Palermo. The victim, an 87-year-old woman named Vincenza Gurgiolo, had been hospitalized at Cimino Hospital on February 28th for renal insufficiency.

Once she had improved, she was transferred to the Medicine ward in early March until the time of her discharge.

After her recovery, Vincenza’s children contacted a private company for ambulance transportation home.

The sequence of events

Picked up by two operators from the transportation company, the elderly woman was taken on a stretcher to the hospital parking lot. Here, according to what has been learned so far, one of the two healthcare workers would have walked away to bring the ambulance closer, leaving his colleague alone with the elderly woman. It was during this time that the stretcher overturned for reasons still to be determined.

Vincenza fell, violently hitting her head on the ground. Despite the immediate intervention of the doctors from the hospital in Termini Imerese from which she had just been discharged, after three days of agony, she died.

The family, still shocked by the incident, filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Termini Imerese. The body was seized, requested by the current prosecutor, Dr. Concetta Federico, for autopsy, along with the medical records, in order to reconstruct the entire sequence of events leading to the death of Vincenza Gurgiolo, especially to determine if the elderly woman was secured to the stretcher and the possible responsibilities of the operators who were transporting her in the ambulance for her post-hospitalization return home.

An incident that prompts reflection

Vincenza’s case represents the delicacy of every phase of healthcare, where even the slightest distraction can cost a person’s life. The exact details of the incident are not known, and it will be up to the authorities to shed light on what happened, but regardless, it is crucial that every healthcare worker who interacts with patients receives thorough training, followed by ongoing updates, to enable them to operate safely for themselves and others.


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