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HSC's problems with layout, staffing clear before Sinclair's death, inquest hears

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Staff at the Health Sciences Centre's emergency department knew there were problems with its layout and staffing for months before Brian Sinclair's death.

Laverne Sturtevant, the WRHA's patient services director for the emergency department, said she had 25 meetings with ER staff about problems they saw in the six months before Sinclair died.

In fact Sturtevant said a meeting to discuss the changes that needed to be made was scheduled for Sept. 19, 2008 -- the day Sinclair arrived at the hospital. He died two days later on the 21st.

Sturtevant said in the years since Sinclair's death the changes have been made including opening up sightlines to the waiting area for triage nurses, hire more nurses, double number of security officers, and create pre-triage seating for patients.

And one of the most significant changes was with the piece of paper used by triage nurses to keep track of people waiting to be triaged - a list Sinclair either wasn't on or it was thrown out before he was seen.

"We no longer have a piece of paper documenting that someone is waiting for care," she said, adding names are inputted on computers immediately when a patient arrives now.

Sinclair, 45, died after waiting 34 hours in the waiting area in his wheelchair without being triaged.

He died of a bladder infection after his urinary catheter became blocked.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 11:51 AM CST: Corrects date of Sinclair's death

12:49 PM: Corrects name to read "Laverne Sturtevant"

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