12/05/2013 10:20 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 05:59 EST

Delta senior sent home from ER in night taxi still angry

Two months after a 90-year-old woman was discharged from Delta Hospital in the middle of the night, she is still angry over the incident, and her family says there have been no assurances anything has changed.

Vivian Fitzpatrick, who is legally blind, was sent home alone in a taxi in the pouring rain, wearing her pyjamas and slippers and wrapped in a bed sheet, and bleeding from blood tests at 2:30 in the morning on Oct. 2.

"It was just like a nightmare, because I didn't know what was going on and,  the way it happened. I wouldn't want it to happen again," Fitzpatrick told CBC News.

Fitzpatrick was taken to hospital by an ambulance four hours earlier, at 10:30 p.m. Oct. 1, after she felt an intense pain in her leg — a pain that turned out to be a symptom of high blood pressure. 

After she was cleared by a doctor, an unknown nurse came into her room and told her she was going home, and moved her out to the waiting room to wait for the taxi that had been called.

Her story generated public outrage.

Fitzpatrick's daughter, Paddy Munro, has since spoken directly to Fraser Health's CEO and the health authority has apologized. 

But Munro says she is troubled that the organization hasn't admitted to any mistakes, and she doubts anything would be different if her mother were admitted tonight.

"I can't be sure that it won't [happen again]. It's come out since this happened that a local doctor has said that the medical staff are under pressure from Fraser Health to discharge emergency people, patients, or transfer them," Munro said. "Apparently the Ministry of Health gives more money to those hospitals that do."

It's still not clear whether anything has changed at Delta Hospital or whether elderly patients will still be discharged and sent home in the middle of the night under similar circumstances.

The B.C. Ministry of Health and Fraser Health would not agree to be interviewed by CBC News on Wednesday, but in a written response a spokesperson for Fraser Health referred to a review already completed on Vivian Fitzpatrick's case, which found that hospital staff acted correctly.

Fitzpatrick says her blood pressure has been up and down since the Oct. 1 emergency room visit, but she hasn't had to go back to the hospital since then — something for which she's grateful.