May 26, 2015


Your Health

Potholes lead to convoluted routes to Winnipeg hospitals

The Paramedic Association of Manitoba joined with CAA Manitoba to criticize potholes and deteriorating roads in Winnipeg and the province. The association said it’s so bad that paramedics are having diffculty treating and monitoring patients on their way to hospital.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Paramedic Association of Manitoba joined with CAA Manitoba to criticize potholes and deteriorating roads in Winnipeg and the province. The association said it’s so bad that paramedics are having diffculty treating and monitoring patients on their way to hospital. Photo Store

Potholes can be so bad in the city that ambulances can look like they’re suddenly in a cop show trying to shake a tail from following them.

Just ask Stuart Holden, who broke his collar bone in October, and his wife Rachel about his ambulance ride to get the injury treated.

Rachel Holden said her husband’s ambulance went on a long and winding route to get from the Granite Curling Club by the Osborne Bridge to the Health Sciences Centre.

"I was wondering are they trying to shake me?" Rachel said on Wednesday as she recalled following the ambulance to the hospital.

"I would have thought they would have gone down Broadway to Sherbrook. But I know we were on Arlington at one point and we went down other residential streets. I was thinking I don’t know where they were going.

"I thought we were going down random streets."

At one point, she said she had to double back when the ambulance suddenly made a turn when she didn’t expect it.

"I remember I thought I can’t lose the ambulance because I’ll be totally lost if I do."

When she caught up to the ambulance at the hospital and questioned the crew, she was told potholes were to blame for the convoluted route.

"'No, no, no,' they said. 'It was the potholes. We were trying to find the roads with no potholes because your husband was in pain.'"

Paramedics having difficulty treating patients

Earlier this week, the Paramedic Association of Manitoba joined with CAA Manitoba to criticize potholes and deteriorating roads in Winnipeg and the province.

The association said it’s so bad that paramedics are having diffculty treating and monitoring patients on their way to hospital.

Stuart Holden, who slipped on ice while curling and broke his collar bone, said he remembers being told the ambulance crew specifically wanted to avoid the potholes and other bumps in the road on Sherbrook Street north of Portage Avenue to HSC.

"There were still some bumps along the way," he said.

"It did cause me to yell out in pain. Every time I did the driver would yell back ‘sorry’. It wasn’t pleasant.

"It was the worst pain I’ve ever been in my life."

Holden said he can empathize with patients in ambulances today with all of the potholes in the street.

"Whenever I do hit a pothole today I think of my shoulder and the pain I was in. I still feel a pain and it takes me back to the ambulance ride."

But the couple can also now laugh about the experience: they will be recounting the story at a live taping of CBC Radio’s Definitely Not The Opera during the Winnipeg Comedy Festival on Thursday.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

 

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