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Sinclair might have died 7 hours before being noticed: inquest

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Brian Sinclair could have been dead for hours before his lifeless body was noticed in a hospital emergency department waiting room.

Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, the province's chief medical examiner, said the 45-year-old Sinclair was pronounced dead shortly before 1 a.m on September 21, 2008.

But Balachandra said rigor mortis had already begun to set in on Sinclair's body when doctors examined him after another patient or visitor alerted hospital security that there appeared to be a dead man there.

Balachandra told provincial court Judge Tim Preston today that after looking at hospital security cameras it appeared Sinclair died up to almost seven hours before he was pronounced dead.

An inquest is looking into Sinclair's death and what can be done to prevent future deaths in emergency rooms.

Sinclair, a double amputee in a wheelchair, was brought to HSC in a handi-transit van with a doctor's note explaining about a blocked urinary catheter from the Health Action Centre on September 19, 2008. Sinclair had told doctors there that he had no urinary output for 24 hours at the time.

Sinclair's death was due to an infected bladder.

Balachandra said Sinclair could have survived if his blocked urinary catheter had been changed and antibiotics given.

He also testified that while an autopsy also showed an artery was almost blocked in his heart and there was evidence of chronic solvent abuse, they didn't lead to his death.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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