Suicidal teen rescued from Corrib then turned away by UHG

The River Corrib at Wolfe Tone Bridge

An 18-year-old girl who was rescued from the River Corrib following a suicide attempt, was then turned away from the Emergency Department at UHG.

Dripping wet from the attempted drowning at Wolfe Tone Bridge, she was assessed in the back of an ambulance by a triage nurse and was deemed unfit to be admitted to the hospital.

She kept insisting she would take her own life, so Gardaí brought her to a cell at Mill Street for her own safety.

When her father arrived to collect her from Galway Garda Station, she was still insisting that she would repeat the suicide attempt.

The pair then drove to the Emergency Department, where he pleaded with medical staff to admit his daughter due to her acute psychotic state. Staff refused, and she remained in a distressed and uncooperative state. She is still suffering from mental health issues.

On the night, the girl had taken a cocktail of alcohol and drugs when she jumped into the water off Wolfe Tone Bridge. Her life was saved when she was rescued by a Garda and a member of the public.

Galway county councillor James Charity, who is advocating on behalf of the family, said the case was particularly alarming, given that it now appears to be a routine occurrence at UHG.

Two similar cases have been highlighted by the Galway City Tribune in the past fortnight – in one case a man with self-inflicted open knife wounds was told to go home or join the Darkness Into Light Walk which raises money for a suicide charity, before eventually being admitted at his family’s insistence. In the other case, a man enduring a paranoid psychotic episode was left waiting in the Emergency Department for more than four hours without treatment before he left and jumped into the Corrib, taking his own life.
For the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.