An infant who died due to the deterioration in the quality of emergency services?

With half of the rescue workers missing from Urgencesanté’s dispatch center, no one was able to speak directly to the caller who dialed 911.

However, when police arrived, the baby was in cardiac arrest. Given the seriousness of the situation, they assume that the paramedics, who are not on an emergency trip, will not be there in time.

Under the 911 protocol, fever and difficulty breathing are not prioritised, whether it is an infant or an adult. No ambulance was rushed to the scene with blue lights flashing. The child is therefore transported to the hospital by car. Too little, too late: Death is pronounced in the emergency room.

This tragedy speaks to the understaffing of both the paramedics on site and the emergency responders at the pre-hospital dispatch center.

Had we stationed enough emergency medical responders, someone from our facility could have picked up the ongoing 911 call and spoken to the person directly on the line. We would have quickly understood the urgency of the situation. Instead, we hung up because no one was available in our dispatch center. 911 sent the information via SMS, assuming Urgences-santé could follow up latera paramedic said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from his employer.

Unfortunately we were never able to speak to the person who contacted us in a panic again.he added.

Urgences-santé is facing a staff shortage at its emergency call center, which is linked to the 911 emergency number.

Photo: Radio Canada

According to Urgences-santé, only four out of eight possible rescue workers were on duty yesterday morning, along with a team leader. All were busy at the time of the call. It was confirmed that the overflow plan in such cases is for the 911 emergency number to transfer the report in writing to the first available emergency doctor.

18 seconds after receiving the 911 text, we attempted to call back the person who reported a baby with shortness of breath. Unfortunately there was no answerexplains Stéphane Smith, spokesman for Urgences-santé.

At the time the baby was called for help, the Urgence-santé emergency call center was receiving an average of 47 calls per hour. The workload was therefore heavy for the medical responders servicing the Montreal and Laval emergencies.

If an ER doctor can speak to a 911 caller right away, they’ll certainly get details quicker.says the spokesman for Urgences-santé.

Now the question is, could the baby’s life have been saved if someone at the dispatch center could have answered the call to 911 to inquire about the baby’s exact health status?

We intend to review the entire process. We will change things in our protocol as needed. Can the priority code be checked if a baby shows a fever, cough and difficulty breathing? What is certain is that we will reevaluate everything. »

A quote from Stéphane Smith, spokesman for Urgences-santé

Stéphane Smith is spokesman for Urgences-santé.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Antoine Sirois, cameraman

Coroner’s Office spokesman Jake Lamotta Granato confirms an inquest is being conducted to determine the circumstances of the baby’s death.

It was Coroner Me Donald Nicole who obtained the search warrant.

The coroner will not comment during the inquest. His job is to clarify the causes and circumstances of death. If he deems it appropriate, he will make a number of recommendations when publishing his report.‘ said the spokesman.

A worrying shortage of staff

Urgences-santé does not slip away when it comes to dealing with staff shortages. The cooperative does not hesitate to speak of overwork.

I’ll do the ambulance myself tonight and for the next few days. Urgences-santé executives return to the field as soon as they canadmits Stephane Smith.

The shortage of staff will keep us busy for a few more years. We hope that if the Memorandum of Understanding is ratified, the resumption of internships will help us expedite recruitment to resolve this issue.adds the latter.

The organization has to contend with many departures from both the paramedics and the rescue workers.

It’s an area that’s very tough morally and physically. The training of a paramedic or paramedic takes time. If there is a departure, it is certain that it will have an impact on our operations. »

A quote from Stéphane Smith, spokesman for Urgences-santé

% de nos transports qui concernent des patients qui n’ont pas à se rendre à l’urgence ou qui pourraient y aller par eux-mêmes”,”text”:”L’une des solutions aussi est de développer une unité d’évaluation pour dégager nos ambulances de transports de patients qui ne nécessitent aucunement notre intervention. Il y a présentement 40% de nos transports qui concernent des patients qui n’ont pas à se rendre à l’urgence ou qui pourraient y aller par eux-mêmes”}}”>One of the solutions is to develop an evaluation unit to free our ambulances from transporting patients who do not need our intervention. Currently, 40% of our transports involve patients who do not need to go to the emergency room or who could go there themselves.‘ says Smith.

More preventable deaths?

In May, the number of ambulances available at the scene made headlines. Urgences-santé mentioned that the lack of staff is particularly noticeable at night.

The paramedics who contacted us gave two examples where the lack of frontline personnel had claimed two lives during the day and evening.

On Sunday, May 15, the Urgences-santé emergency services received a call for a 25-year-old woman suffering from severe head trauma. We ask that you urgently transport her to the hospital.

According to the head office, it is 8:01 p.m.

An ambulance is therefore requested to go to the Society for Technological Arts (SAT) on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. It will take almost 50 minutes for paramedics to arrive at the scene at 8:47 p.m.

The young woman succumbed to her injuries.

The previous day, Saturday May 14, a 65-year-old man called emergency services at around 7:53 a.m. and asked for help. He feels desperate and cannot get out of bed.

The wait at his home on 1st Avenue in LaSalle will be endless for him. The ambulance didn’t arrive until 4:47 p.m., nine hours after it was called, according to the 911 calling card.

The 50-year-old was found in his bed with cardiac arrest. No resuscitation maneuvers were attempted. Death was evident at the scene.

These interventions have been confirmed by Urgences-santé.

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