Investigations into two deaths at Anna-Laberge Hospital
Montreal daily newspapers reported that two people died last week in Anna Laberge Hospital’s emergency department.
Translation Amanda Bennett
In one of the two cases, the patient had been waiting 12 hours to see a doctor, according to La Presse and Le Journal de Montréal.
The tragedies occurred at a time when the Châteauguay hospital emergency department was heavily overcrowded. As of December 5, the occupancy rate was 184%. Fourteen stretchers had been occupied for more than 48 hours. “I’ve been working at Anna-Laberge Hospital for 10 years, and I’ve rarely seen the rate below 100%,” said Dominic Caisse, interim president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec, who sends his sympathies to the grieving families.
The Centre intégré de santé et services sociaux de la Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO) commented on the situation by e-mail. After offering its sympathies to the affected families, it stated that “meetings have been held over the past few days with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and the other CISSSs in the Montérégie region to find ways of relieving the pressure. Further meetings are scheduled for early this week. Every effort is being made to reduce the pressure on emergency departments, for the well-being of both teams and patients. We will never compromise on patient safety.”
In light of the ongoing investigations, he declined to comment further. “We take these situations very seriously and will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigations,” he concluded.
Recommendations not applied
Asked for his reaction, Health Minister Christian Dubé said that the crisis unit’s recommendations to relieve emergency room congestion had not been applied at Anna-Laberge Hospital.
The crisis unit set up a year ago drew up a list of recommendations. These included daytime medical consultations in less than two hours, giving priority to consultations leading to admission, discharge, an outpatient clinic appointment and/or advice, and working with emergency departments on all alternatives to hospitalization.
Christian Dubé visited the Anna-Laberge Hospital emergency department on December 3rd.
“The example I noted last week when I went to Anna-Laberge, among other places, [is that] the measures have not been applied,” he said at a press briefing on December 5th. He has tasked Michel Delamarre, the front-line access coordinator, with contacting the hospital’s doctors.