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Discharged from ER without proper support, patient alleges

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The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says it followed proper protocols in discharging an emergency room patient who now alleges she was sent home from Health Sciences Centre without proper supports in place.

The CBC on Monday quoted a 34-year-old woman as saying she was recently sent home from hospital despite the fact she did not have her keys with her. She requires the use of a wheelchair, which was also left at home when she was rushed to hospital in an ambulance due to a "cardiac event," the broadcaster said.

But Lori Lamont, a WRHA vice-president and its chief nursing officer, said a social worker and an HSC charge nurse spent "a couple of hours" working out a plan with the woman for her safe discharge after she was deemed medically fit to leave hospital.

A safe patient discharge protocol, developed two years ago and further updated weeks ago with a checklist for ER staff, was followed, Lamont said.

She said the hospital lent the woman a wheelchair to use until she was settled back at home. A friend of the woman drove her to a family member’s place of work, where she was able to pick up keys to her place, Lamont said. She was then taken home.

The Free Press has been unable to reach the woman for comment.

The safe release of hospital patients has been an issue in Winnipeg over the past two years. Three patients sent home in cabs from city hospitals in winter have collapsed and died just outside their home after being dropped off.

Meanwhile, Lamont said health officials are willing to speak to the woman to see if there was more they could have done to meet her needs.

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