Patients who died at home discharged from ER properly

Emergency room sign. (Fotolia)

Emergency room sign. (Fotolia)

Jim Bender, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

WINNIPEG ─ There were no problems with the way two patients at Winnipeg’s Grace Hospital were discharged prior to dying moments after being dropped off at home by cabs, WRHA officials say.

However, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority head Arlene Wilgosh said the WRHA will nonetheless create both an Emergency Department Discharge checklist to support existing Safe Patient Discharge guidelines, as recommended by two critical incident reviews, and a guideline for patient transportation.

And as suggested by Health Minister Erin Selby in January, local cab drivers will also be tapped to take a more responsible role in transporting discharged patients home from hospitals in the near future.

Wilgosh said the two men who died in December ─78-year-old David Silver and Wayne Miller, 62 ─ each had underlying medical conditions.

"These two men both had underlying medical conditions that predisposed them to more serious outcomes," Wilgosh said. "We did have physicians review both charts. They felt that the medical assessments were appropriate and were complete."

Miller died in late December shortly after being discharged and sent home in a cab. He was found lying on the sidewalk in front of his apartment complex a short time later.

A few days later, Silver was diagnosed with gallstones and kidney stone, was told he needed to see his family doctor, and given a cab slip to get home. His family was told he suffered a heart attack moments after the cab pulled away at 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, local cab companies have met with the WRHA and agreed to follow guidelines for drivers taking patients home from hospital emergency departments, starting in early March.

"It will be whether or not the patient requires physical assistance ... see that this patient gets into their main doorway,” said Lori Lamont, the WRHA's chief nursing officer.


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