“They left her on the ground like an animal”: the treatment of a woman at the Hull hospital showed a “lack of humanity”


Quebec patient rights advocate accuses Hull hospital of lack of humanity after woman with severe abdominal pain was forced to lie on the floor

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Quebec patient rights advocate accuses Hull hospital of lack of humanity after woman with severe abdominal pain was forced to lie on the floor in emergency last week while waiting to get medical help.


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The woman, Anne Pommainville, 58, died two days later of complications from surgery after being transferred to the Gatineau hospital. Her family learned that she had died of cardiac arrest.

CBC reported that Pommainville was in so much pain while waiting in the emergency department at Hull hospital on June 27 that she was unable to sit in a chair. Her husband asked her if she could lie down, but was told that there were no beds available and her only option was to make a bed on the floor with blankets, which she did. made.

Pommainville’s husband asked if she could wait in the car where she could lie down, but was told she had to stay in the hospital or lose her place in line. After she waited four hours, he took her to the car, but walked back and forth between the car and the emergency department to hear her name called.


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Quebec patient advocate Paul Brunet, who heads the Council for the Protection of the Sick, said understaffing and post-pandemic exhaustion were cited by officials as part of the reason for the situation, but he said said this did not excuse the way Pommainville was treated.

“It’s not a lack of staff. It is a lack of dignity and humanity.

Brunet also noted that Pommainville was transferred from Hull to the Gatineau hospital without her family being notified. They only learned of her transfer when her husband was called by a doctor to tell her that her heart had stopped and staff could not resuscitate her.

“She was transferred without her family knowing. It is a lack of minimal courtesy.

And Brunet said he heard that the hospital had a unit that was closed.


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“They were told that no beds were available, which is not true,” he said. “They could have opened the unit. They did not do it. They left her on the ground like an animal.

A spokesperson for the CISSS de l’Outaouais, the region’s integrated health and social services center, said an internal investigation into the death was underway.

“Know that we are concerned about this situation,” said spokesperson Camille Brochu-Lafrance. “We are doing everything we can to understand what has happened and to prevent this kind of situation from happening again.”

Brochu-Lafrance added, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this woman. “

The CISSSO has confirmed that a 45-bed unit at Hull hospital is closed, but said nurses’ summer vacations limit the hospital’s ability to reopen beds.


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Just days before Pommainville and her husband asked for emergency help at the Hull Hospital, the Gatineau Hospital had to close its emergency department for the weekend due to a shortage of ‘nurses.

At the time, the CISSSO said the closure was due to unexpected absences on Friday night and a lack of expertise from those working, which made it difficult to assess patients coming to the emergency room.

Nursing shortages, chronic in health care on both sides of the Ottawa River, have been severe in western Quebec, sometimes resulting in the temporary closure of entire units and the permanent closure of the unit. obstetrics at Pontiac Hospital.

In 2016, a coroner’s report concluded that the Gatineau Hospital was among the “worst in the western world” for emergency care after it took more than 10 hours for an ALS patient who had a fracture collarbone to see a doctor.



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Boyd S. Abbott

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