Patient dies in NB ER waiting room while hospital is in ‘critical overcapacity’ | globalnews.ca


Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick has confirmed that a patient died in the Moncton Hospital emergency room, while the department was “in a critical state of excess capacity.”

According to a statement from Dr. Serge Melanson, clinical lead for Horizon Emergency Services, the patient arrived at the hospital Tuesday night “with a serious health problem.”

“The patient was appropriately classified as an emergency priority and placed in the main waiting room until adequate space was available for examination in (the emergency department),” Melanson said.

“While awaiting evaluation by the doctor, the patient was being monitored by staff and some early tests were performed, however the patient’s condition rapidly deteriorated.”

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According to Melanson, the patient was taken to a resuscitation area, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

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Melanson offered his condolences to the patient’s family and friends, while acknowledging the efforts of doctors and staff “under difficult circumstances.”

New Brunswick’s health care system, and specifically its emergency departments, have been under pressure due to staffing shortages for the past year.

Patients have spoken to Global News about struggling with emergency closures, long waits and pushback due to capacity.

Last month, the Vitalité and Horizon health networks said they had been recruitment of private temp agency travel nurses to fill gaps in staffing, especially in your emergency departments and critical care areas.


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In August, Horizon Health launched a pilot project in its five main hospitals where a healthcare professional would be stationed in the waiting room 24 hours a day.

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“You will have staff available 24/7 to monitor patients’ vital signs, talk with them, and determine if someone is experiencing an increase in their symptoms or a decrease in condition that requires reporting. immediately to triage. nurses or the emergency department,” interim president and chief executive officer Margaret Melanson said at the time.

The move was a direct result of the death of a patient in the emergency room at Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital. Waiting room on July 12.

A patient also died in the emergency room at Edmundston Regional Hospital, which is part of the Vitalité Health Network, on July 24.

August 12th, a patient who arrived at the Moncton Hospital emergency room he also died while awaiting care.

The death at Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital prompted Prime Minister Blaine Higgs to sack Horizon Health Network President and CEO Dr. John Dornan and remove Dorothy Shephard from the health portfolio.

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Higgs also removed both boards, which are elected officials, from the Vitalité and Horizon health networks. In their place, two trustees were appointed.

— With files from Nathalie Sturgeon

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