Manitoba mulls overhaul of ER layouts after man dies during 34-hour wait

WINNIPEG -- Manitoba is looking at overhauling the layout of 10 emergency rooms in the province after the death of an indigenous man during a 34-hour wait.

See Full Article

But the family of Brian Sinclair, who died in a Winnipeg emergency room in 2008, says changing the configuration of ERs won't address the reason why the 45-year-old died without treatment.

Sinclair's death was the subject of an inquest which made 63 recommendations in December 2014 aimed primarily at policy reviews at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

One involves looking at the layout of emergency rooms to ensure people waiting are visible to the triage desk. Another suggests a "pre-triage" area for patients.

The province is advertising for a consultant to examine the feasibility of those in 10 hospitals across Manitoba.

"We hope to identify any specific, technical or physical issues that are related to those recommendations," said Norman Blackie, executive director of the capital planning branch of Manitoba Health.

"They involve reviewing the physical layout of the waiting areas within those emergency departments and to determine whether there are any challenges to creating a pre-triage area."

Some of the emergency rooms may not need extensive renovation if they already adhere to the recommendations, he added.

Sinclair, a double amputee, was waiting for care at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre and died of a treatable bladder infection caused by a blocked catheter.

Although Sinclair spoke to a triage aide when he first arrived in the ER, he was never formally entered into the hospital's system. He languished for hours, growing sicker and vomiting several times, but was never asked if he was waiting for care.

Rigor mortis had set in by the time Sinclair was discovered dead.

The inquest heard many employees assumed he was drunk or seeking shelter. Others thought he had been seen and was waiting for a ride.

Vilko Zbogar, lawyer for the Sinclair family, says the inquest found Sinclair didn't die because people didn't know he was there. An internal review found 17 staff members saw the man, but no one assumed he was waiting for care.

"He was just ignored," Zbogar said. "People did actually see him. They just chose not to pay attention to him."

Sinclair's family pulled out of the second half of the inquest over concerns the probe was ignoring whether systemic racism played a role in his death.

They called on the judge to rule the death a homicide and asked him to recommend the Manitoba government order a public inquiry to examine indigenous people and their health care. The judge did neither.

While the layout of Manitoba's emergency rooms could perhaps use some rejigging, Zbogar said the province continues to ignore a pervasive problem with its health care.

"Those biases exist within our systems," Zbogar said. "So far the province of Manitoba, despite the inquest, has done nothing to look into those kinds of core, fundamental issues."

Health Minister Sharon Blady was not immediately available for comment.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Plane caught in power lines after crash in U.S., crews work to rescue 2 occupants

    World News CTV News
    GAITHERSBURG, Md. - A small plane carrying two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials worked to extricate the aircraft and its occupants. Source
  • NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. removed from Miami flight by police

    World News CBC News
    NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. was removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious, police and airline officials said Sunday. Source
  • Why anti-poverty researchers bristle at holiday appeals for food bank donations

    Canada News CTV News
    St. John's - Campaigns for food bank donations are a staple of the holiday season, but some Canadian food insecurity researchers say the appeals can be tough to swallow. Josh Smee, the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador-based non-profit Food First N.L. Source
  • B.C. announces plan to license more internationally trained doctors

    Canada News CBC News
    British Columbia announced several new measures to bring more doctors to the province, amid an ongoing shortage of physicians and strained emergency departments. Premier David Eby says the province is tripling the number of seats in the Practice Ready Assessment program, going from 32 spots to 96 by March 2024. Source
  • B.C. to license more internationally trained doctors to combat physician shortage

    Canada News CBC News
    British Columbia announced several new measures to bring more doctors to the province, amid an ongoing shortage of physicians and strained emergency departments. Premier David Eby says the province is tripling the number of seats in the Practice Ready Assessment program, going from 32 spots to 96 by March 2024. Source
  • Infant among 7 dead in Italy landslide

    World News CBC News
    Search teams have recovered seven dead, including a three-week-old infant and a pair of young siblings, buried in mud and debris that hurtled down a mountainside and through a densely populated port city on the resort island of Ischia, officials said Sunday. Source
  • Mexico's Lopez Obrador leads massive pro-government march

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Mexico's capital Sunday in a show of support for President Manuel Lopez Obrador, who before assuming the presidency had led some of the country's biggest protests. Source
  • Hey hey, there's some monkeys! Thai festival honours fuzzy residents

    World News CBC News
    A meal fit for monkeys was served on Sunday at the annual Monkey Feast Festival in central Thailand. Amid the morning traffic, rows of monkey statues holding trays were lined up outside the compound of the Ancient Three Pagodas, while volunteers prepared food across the road for real monkeys — the symbol of Lopburi province, around 150 kilometres north of Bangkok. Source
  • Walmart shooting claims teen, young woman, father, mother

    World News CTV News
    A 16-year-old helping his family. A custodian and father of two. A mother with wedding plans. A happy-go-lucky guy. A longtime employee. That's how friends and family described some of the six people killed at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, when a manager opened fire with a handgun before an employee meeting Tuesday night. Source
  • Iraqi PM: Probe recovers part of $2.5B embezzled from taxes

    World News CTV News
    Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov give Canada 1st Davis Cup title Canada won its first Davis Cup title on Sunday, beating Australia behind victories from Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Source