“Judge says long ER wait played role in Edmonton man’s death” Calgary Herald November 5, 2012
There was a recent report puiblished in the Alberta media with respect to the death of an elderly man (Samuel Takyi) who delayed seeking care because of a perceived prolonged ER wait time. There was a judicial finding that prolonged ER waits were contributory.
There is now incontrovertible evidence that ER crowding is not a matter of mere patient inconvenience but is a very real threat to patient safety. Some times the threat is through the direct delay in appropriate care; in other circumstances, such as this, the care process is never initiated because of the perceived wait time.
What is so disturbing is that this is not an isolated case:
Vince Motta of Okotoks, Alberta died in 2001
Pat Vepari died in Kitchener, Ontario in 2005
Vince Cleaves died in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2009
All were in their twenties and all died as a result of leaving the ER having been told that the wait was long.
Why must history repeat itself, over and over, before we accept the severity of the problem and strive to resolve it.