Toronto Patients Die Waiting for Emergency Care

by Medindia Content Team on  February 9, 2008 at 3:58 PM Hospital News   - G J E 4
Toronto Patients Die Waiting for Emergency Care
There was a furor among Toronto paramedics as three Emergency Medical Service (EMS) patients died in the waiting room or on a stretcher waiting for emergency care between Monday and Tuesday.

According to the paramedics union of Toronto, the emergency room conditions in Toronto city is depressive.

The emergency department of Etobicoke General Hospital witnessed the painful deaths of two women and one man between Monday and Tuesday.They were  waiting on a stretcher or in the waiting room due to  "offload delay" said Glenn Fontaine, unit ambulance chairman for Toronto Paramedic Local 416.

Offload delay refers to paramedics at hospital with a patient waiting for a bed.

Glenn Fontaine said one patient died while waiting with paramedics for a bed and another had a heart attack after a painful wait for three hours in the waiting room.

The Toronto Emergency Medical Service Deputy Chief Norm Lambert admitted that paramedics citywide are feeling stressed out by crowded emergency rooms, which result ed in patients waiting for hours but denied the allegations of the paramedics.

Lambert told CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney that, the paramedics are not trained to be waiting with patients in the hospital emergency department for hours and added that it is a very trying situation for the paramedics. He fully empathized with the paramedics that these testing situations also lead to unwarranted overtime hours.

Despite facing a frustrating Thursday when seven ambulances were parked outside Etobicoke General's emergency room, waiting to unload patients the hospital's head of emergency Dr. Naveed Mohammad denied the "hall of shame" deaths described by Fontaine.

The Ontario Hospital Association said that the issue is province wide. On any given day, 2,800 patients who should be in nursing homes or at their own houses take up beds unnecessarily and this leads to about 680 patients waiting for beds that aren't available.

Mohammad told the CTV Toronto that the Ontario government's "tracking of hospital emergency department wait times" on a live website that is expected to begin in 12 to 18 months would bring an ultimate solution to the crisis.

Source: Medindia

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