A Canadian woman died after seven hours of waiting in the emergency room, with her family blaming her for complications and omissions. country’s health system for death
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the patient who died at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Center.” Canadian Minister of Health and Wellness Michelle Thompson wrote in a statement released Monday. “This is a tragic loss and my heart is with them. I understand they want answers.
“Nova Scotia Health has launched an investigation into this case, known as a quality review, to determine what happened, how we can do it better, and what we can do to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Allison Holthoff, 37, went to the hospital after complaining that she wasn’t feeling well on New Year’s Eve. She told her family that she had pain in her stomach that continued to increase over time.
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Holthoff’s husband, Gunter, took her to the hospital as her condition worsened. He waited for seven hours for someone to join him, but he finally died. Günter told reporters on Monday that he still does not know the cause of death of his wife.
“Unfortunately, I feel neglected and it’s gotten to a point where they can no longer ignore us,” Gunter said at a press conference. “It was a terrible situation for my wife, my children, and many people in the community. I got lost.”
Günter told reporters that his wife fell off the horse in September and complained of pain in the following months. He said he had “hard times” for his wife.
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After trying to relieve her pain with a bath, she found him lying in the hallway on New Year’s Eve.
After completing triage around 11:20 am, the couple waited in a makeshift waiting room in the foyer of the hospital.
Medical personnel took blood and urine samples during the seven-hour wait, and towards the end, a nurse, seeing Holthoff’s extreme pain, asked if he had “always been like this”. Holthoff began screaming in pain at around 6 p.m. as the medical staff prepared him for X-rays.
After the doctors and nurses resurrected Holthoff three times, “[1%] There would be no chance of keeping him alive” and surgery. A doctor told Gunter that his wife had internal bleeding but could not determine its origin.
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Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, a member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, hosted the press conference and outlined a seven-point plan to address the situation, CTV News reported.
In a letter to ThompsonSmith-McCrossin urged Emergency Medical Services to place a “dedicated healthcare professional in the temporary/temporary waiting room” to “provide and monitor ongoing medical evaluation of people waiting to see the emergency room doctor.”
He also recommended renovations to the main emergency room, a special counsel to assist families of deceased patients, improving staffing levels in the emergency room, and publicly listing emergency room wait times, among other measures.
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Smith-McCrossin said Gunter was “a hero” in how he handled his wife’s death. Holthoff’s family buried him on Saturday.
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