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Ex-triage aide recalls Sinclair got vomit basin

Remembers little else about amputee

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Former Health Sciences Centre emergency-room triage aide Jordan Loechner takes a lunch break at the Sinclair inquest.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Former Health Sciences Centre emergency-room triage aide Jordan Loechner takes a lunch break at the Sinclair inquest. Photo Store

A small, plastic, kidney-shaped basin was more memorable than a double amputee seeking medical help in a hospital waiting room.

At least it was for former Health Sciences Centre emergency department triage aide Jordan Loechner.

Loechner was one of the more anticipated witnesses at the inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair because he is the triage aide seen on hospital security video first greeting Sinclair just seconds after a cab dropped off the man at the emergency department just before 3 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2008, and writing something on a piece of paper during the 30-second encounter.

Normally, that would put a patient in line to see the triage nurse and then be treated by medical staff.

'I do not remember taking his name that day... I had many 30-second conversations that day' -- triage aide Jordan Loechner

Unfortunately, Loechner, now a Winnipeg paramedic, says he can't say what happened because he doesn't remember a second of it, only what he has seen on the video in the days and years since the 45-year-old Sinclair died.

"I do not remember taking his name that day," Loechner told provincial court Judge Tim Preston during questioning by lawyers on Wednesday.

"I talked to many people... I had many 30-second conversations that day."

All Loechner could say is his usual practice was to greet patients as they entered the emergency department, write down the time he met them, their name, their chief complaint, and then send them to sit in the waiting room.

When shown the hospital video, he said he doesn't remember meeting Sinclair about five hours into his 12-hour shift, but it appeared he followed his usual practice.

Loechner does remember that during his 12-hour shift the next day, when Sinclair had been in the waiting room about 24 hours at that point, a security guard asked him whether he could get one of the hospital's blue, plastic, kidney-shaped basins patients are routinely given when they feel nauseous.

He said he told the guard he was too busy right then, but he would retrieve it a bit later. Loechner said when he did get the basin, the security guard told him he had already got one.

When asked by an incredulous Vilko Zbogar, one of the lawyers representing Sinclair's family, how he remembered the basin incident instead of "a double amputee on his deathbed," Loechner said: "He asked about a kidney bowl once and I took down many people's names that day."

Sinclair died on Sept. 21, 2008, after waiting 34 hours in the waiting room with a treatable bladder infection caused by a blocked urinary catheter.

The inquest has been told Sinclair, who had his legs amputated the year before after collapsing outside on a winter night, may have died up to seven hours before attempts were made to treat him in the emergency ward.

As for the piece of paper Loechner would have written Sinclair's name on, Loechner said once the triage nurses had met everyone on the list and stroked their names off, "it would just be tossed into the garbage."

He said he was never disciplined in the wake of Sinclair's death.

The inquest continues.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 17, 2013 B2

History

Updated on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:20 AM CDT: Blog box added.

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