Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Missing Sinclair list raises glaring issue

  • Print

AN inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair in the HSC ER saw videotape Monday of the 34 hours he awaited medical attention, to no avail. It included the man’s arrival at the triage desk, where a triage aide came to his side, bent low to speak to the man who had a severe speech impediment, and wrote information on a paper pad.

The quality of the interaction between Mr. Sinclair and the aide has been an important issue — the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has released the barest of details on what happened from Sept. 19, 2008, when Mr. Sinclair arrived at the ER, until 34 hours later when he was discovered dead by another person in the waiting room. Det.-Sgt. John O’Donovan, who reviewed all ER security videotape in a criminal investigation into the death, noted that the aide’s paper pad was kept at the triage desk so that nurses could track those they had yet to assess and place in line to see a doctor. When Mr. Sinclair arrived, another person was speaking to the nurse. As he waited next to that person, the triage aide intercepted him, spoke briefly and then Brian Sinclair went to wait.

But the aide’s notes were not available to the police for the investigation. In fact, months after the death, a board member of the WRHA noted publicly they had been destroyed. Why the notes would not have been preserved — despite two internal investigations by the WRHA immediately after the death — is a glaring question.

It defies common sense, and responsible record management, that such key documents would be destroyed. The inquest has yet to hear from the aide, the nurses and other staff on duty over the time Mr. Sinclair sat awaiting help. The video reviewed at the inquest showed that for almost all the 34 hours, Mr. Sinclair sat in pretty much the same spot in the waiting room in front of the TV. He had parked his wheelchair in an aisle that led to vending machines and the washrooms and hospital staff and numerous other people walked past him. (Evidence is that Mr. Sinclair vomited and the tape shows a chrome basin in front of the double-leg amputee’s chair.) The missing list of names is evidence the HSC ER had a formal record of Mr. Sinclair’s visit. Many questions remain to be answered, but one obvious outcome of the inquest ought to be a recommendation that all documents of patient contact, from the formal chain of triage on, must be treated as official hospital records and maintained as such.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 27, 2013 A8

History

Updated on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM CDT: Adds live blog box, tag.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jet goalie Michael Hutchinson

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Horses enjoy a beautiful September morning east of Neepawa, Manitoba  - Standup Photo– Sept 04, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Scottish independence referendum will have an effect in Canada?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google