Officials Say Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department Was Slammed The Night Someone Died Waiting For Care

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Officials Say Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department Was Slammed The Night Someone Died Waiting For Care

Enter the emergency room at the William Avenue Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg. Chris Procillo/Winnipeg Sun © Contributed by The Winnipeg Sun Access to the emergency room at the William Avenue Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg . Chris Procillo/Winnipeg Sun

On the night the patient died while waiting for treatment at the Medical Sciences Center, emergency officials were caring for a large number of critically ill patients.

HSC Director of Operations Dr. Sean Young told reporters Thursday afternoon that the details of the patient's stay in the emergency room are still under investigation for critical incidents.

"We need to identify areas where we can do things differently and learn from it so it doesn't happen again," Young said Thursday.

"While we await the details of the investigation, I can confirm that part of our approach going forward will include the use of our established outperformance protocols."

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Monday, the patient arrived by ambulance at the emergency room, where he was examined and treated, Young said. An hour later, staff were informed that the patient's condition had deteriorated and, despite medical intervention, he was pronounced dead shortly after.

Staff were treating twice as many critically ill patients that night, Young said. The average wait time was more than two hours, which is "historically high", he said.

The Manitoba Nurses Union tweeted Thursday that several nurses were working overtime and about 40 patients had been in the waiting room for more than 12 hours. More than a dozen hospital patients waited more than 20 hours, about 80 hours, the union said. About 70 patients were tested within 24 hours but are missing.

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On Wednesday, MNU President Darlene Jackson offered condolences to the patient's family and expressed concern for the nurses who worked that night.

"They were worried about it," Jackson said. “And expressed concerns to their employer, to their supervisors, to their managers, to anyone who would listen to their concerns about the event. I felt so sorry for the nurses because it was devastating for them."

On Thursday, Young was joined by Jennifer Kempst, executive director of HSC Emergency Medical Services, and both expressed their condolences to the patient's family. Due to privacy laws, little was reported about the patient.

"We recognize that incidents like this undermine public confidence in the health care system," Young said.

Kamsti expressed his gratitude to the medical staff and shared that there is a desire to improve healthcare. He also said there are other options for low-need patients, such as outpatient clinics, urgent care centers or family doctors, because they may have to wait longer in the emergency room.

rstelter@postmedia.com

Twitter: @steltsy94

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Complete PBS NewsHour, March 2, 2023

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