Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - ONLINE EDITION

Problem is getting patients long-term care, not clogged waiting rooms, inquest hears

Brian Sinclair died at the Health Sciences Centre waiting room.

Enlarge Image

Brian Sinclair died at the Health Sciences Centre waiting room. (MAURICE BRUNEAU PHOTO)

Contrary to popular belief, it is not patients with minor injuries causing overcrowding in hospital emergency rooms.

Dr. Grant Innes, an emergency room doctor in Calgary and an expert in emergency room overcrowding and patient flow, said the main problem is not being able to get critically ill patients out of the emergency room.

Innes said the problem goes all the way to patients being blocked from getting out of hospital to long-term care beds.

"Too many patients waiting too long in the wrong place," he told an inquest looking into the death of Brian Sinclair today.

Innes said studies show transferring patients with minor injuries to urgent care centres really doesn't free up ER space.

"The overwhelming cause is blocked patients," he said.

Innes said one patient he studied -- who had a scratched cornea -- illustrates how blocking occurs because it took them almost three hours to be seen and treated in the ER.

But Innes said when he had a similar ailment and was treated there by a doctor he knew the entire time was nine minutes.

He said the rest of the time spent by the other patient included repeated questioning by health care staff and documenting the ailment.

"This type of inefficiency shouldn't be allowed to exist."

Sinclair, 45, died in Sept. 2008, after waiting in the HSC emergency waiting room for 34 hours. A coroner said Sinclair, a double amputee who used a wheelchair, could have died up to seven hours before he was noticed.

The inquest, which has been holding hearings on and off since last August, is in its final week.

Kevin.Rollason@freepress.mb.ca

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media