Family fed up over senior’s wait for biopsy, 60 hours in Seven Oaks ER
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/01/2019 (1543 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The family of an 81-year-old Winnipeg man suspected of having cancer is frustrated that he has waited close to four months for a biopsy with no appointment in sight.
George Myer received a CT scan and MRI in mid-September that showed a growth on the upper lobe of his right lung.
His daughter, Kathryn Braun, said he was determined to fight the disease, but in recent days that positive outlook has given way to despondency and exasperation.
“He is feeling dejected now and frustrated. He thinks that he’s being forgotten about and ignored,” Braun said. “As a family, we’re very upset.”
The family has enlisted the help of Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard to bring his situation to light.
At a news conference Tuesday, Gerrard, a former practising physician, said a biopsy is critical to the development of a treatment plan for Myer. He said the procedure should have been done within a few weeks, or at most a month, of the diagnostic tests.
“On the basis of the imaging tests, the diagnosis of almost-certain cancer has been made,” Gerrard said. “But there has not been a tissue diagnosis because there’s not a biopsy. That tissue diagnosis is absolutely critical for developing a care plan.”
Myer, a diabetic for more than 40 years who had successful surgery Oct. 30 to improve blood flow in one of his legs, was taken to the Seven Oaks Hospital emergency department in a weakened state and in considerable pain on Christmas Day. He waited on a stretcher in the ER for close to 60 hours before he was admitted, his daughter said, adding he remains in hospital.
Braun, a nurse practitioner, said she was unimpressed with the care he received in the Seven Oaks ER, which is slated to to be converted to an urgent-care centre in September as part of the provincial government’s hospital reorganization plan.
“He wasn’t getting the care that he should be getting,” she said. “He has bed sores and he wasn’t being repositioned. He was unable to move very well on that stretcher by himself. He had missed medications while he was in there. He wasn’t getting adequate pain control while he was in there. He wasn’t checked on hourly, which is a standard for nursing care.”
A spokesman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said the organization is restricted in what it can say about the situation because of privacy legislation. He said the WRHA empathizes with Myer and his family.
“Seven Oaks Hospital has previously been in contact with Mr. Myer and his family to review the timelines and care while in the Emergency Department at Seven Oaks Hospital,” Scott K. Sime, the WRHA’s director of communications, media, public and government affairs, said in an email.
“In addition, we are currently making arrangements to meet with Mr. Myer and the family to review his entire care situation – which includes the time preceding his current hospital stay.”
Health Minister Cameron Friesen weighed in with a statement.
“My thoughts are with the family during this difficult time. While (the Personal Health Information Act) prevents me from being able to discuss specifics relating to Mr. Myer, I have been assured the WRHA has made contact with the family and will continue to meet to ensure issues are addressed and Mr. Myer receives the appropriate care he needs.”
Braun said her father suffered a fall at home in September that prompted the tests that led to the suspicion of cancer. A lesion was found on Myer’s brain, and a later image of his torso revealed the one on his lung.
Gerrard expressed concern that the long wait for a biopsy and the elderly man’s treatment in the Seven Oaks ER are the result of the hospital reorganization initiatives.
“There have been changes to the health-care system which, I think, are quite problematic and are contributing to this,” he said.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.