The wife of a cancer patient says her husband endured "an absolutely horrifying experience" after spending around 38 hours on a trolley at St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin.

The patient had been on chemotherapy for the last few weeks and had a severe reaction to the drug and had to go to the emergency department.

Speaking to RTÉ News, his wife said he had to queue and use the same toilets as visitors and other patients.

Other patients were sick with flu and some were vomiting all around him.

She said there was no pillow on his trolley and when he asked for one, he was given a rolled-up blanket to use.

The 62-year-old man was very sick on Thursday and had severe diarrhoea when he went to the emergency department.

His wife said he had no choice but to go to St Vincent's and she had phoned in advance to tell them he had chemotherapy and asked if there was anything they could possibly do.

The man was eventually moved to a ward on his own where his condition improved.

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"My concern is he was exposed to all sorts of illnesses there including the vomiting bug and his immune system is very low," his wife said.

"It was an absolutely horrifying experience."

She did not wish to be identified to protect family privacy.

In response, St Vincent's said its standard policy is not to comment publicly on medical matters pertaining to individual patients.

It said that as the family has raised concerns in the media, the hospital would like to reassure them and the public that the hospital endeavours to provide the best standard of care to all patients attending the emergency department.

St Vincent's said it will not breach patient confidentiality by discussing the man's recent care in public.

However it would welcome the opportunity to meet the family to discuss his care and treatment and to address any concerns they may have.