August 23, 2019

Winnipeg
14° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Editorial

Missing Sinclair list raises glaring issue

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/8/2013 (2186 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

AN inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair in the HSC ER saw videotape Monday of the 34 hours he awaited medical attention, to no avail. It included the man’s arrival at the triage desk, where a triage aide came to his side, bent low to speak to the man who had a severe speech impediment, and wrote information on a paper pad.

The quality of the interaction between Mr. Sinclair and the aide has been an important issue — the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has released the barest of details on what happened from Sept. 19, 2008, when Mr. Sinclair arrived at the ER, until 34 hours later when he was discovered dead by another person in the waiting room. Det.-Sgt. John O’Donovan, who reviewed all ER security videotape in a criminal investigation into the death, noted that the aide’s paper pad was kept at the triage desk so that nurses could track those they had yet to assess and place in line to see a doctor. When Mr. Sinclair arrived, another person was speaking to the nurse. As he waited next to that person, the triage aide intercepted him, spoke briefly and then Brian Sinclair went to wait.

But the aide’s notes were not available to the police for the investigation. In fact, months after the death, a board member of the WRHA noted publicly they had been destroyed. Why the notes would not have been preserved — despite two internal investigations by the WRHA immediately after the death — is a glaring question.

It defies common sense, and responsible record management, that such key documents would be destroyed. The inquest has yet to hear from the aide, the nurses and other staff on duty over the time Mr. Sinclair sat awaiting help. The video reviewed at the inquest showed that for almost all the 34 hours, Mr. Sinclair sat in pretty much the same spot in the waiting room in front of the TV. He had parked his wheelchair in an aisle that led to vending machines and the washrooms and hospital staff and numerous other people walked past him. (Evidence is that Mr. Sinclair vomited and the tape shows a chrome basin in front of the double-leg amputee’s chair.) The missing list of names is evidence the HSC ER had a formal record of Mr. Sinclair’s visit. Many questions remain to be answered, but one obvious outcome of the inquest ought to be a recommendation that all documents of patient contact, from the formal chain of triage on, must be treated as official hospital records and maintained as such.

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/8/2013 (2186 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

AN inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair in the HSC ER saw videotape Monday of the 34 hours he awaited medical attention, to no avail. It included the man’s arrival at the triage desk, where a triage aide came to his side, bent low to speak to the man who had a severe speech impediment, and wrote information on a paper pad.

The quality of the interaction between Mr. Sinclair and the aide has been an important issue — the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has released the barest of details on what happened from Sept. 19, 2008, when Mr. Sinclair arrived at the ER, until 34 hours later when he was discovered dead by another person in the waiting room. Det.-Sgt. John O’Donovan, who reviewed all ER security videotape in a criminal investigation into the death, noted that the aide’s paper pad was kept at the triage desk so that nurses could track those they had yet to assess and place in line to see a doctor. When Mr. Sinclair arrived, another person was speaking to the nurse. As he waited next to that person, the triage aide intercepted him, spoke briefly and then Brian Sinclair went to wait.

But the aide’s notes were not available to the police for the investigation. In fact, months after the death, a board member of the WRHA noted publicly they had been destroyed. Why the notes would not have been preserved — despite two internal investigations by the WRHA immediately after the death — is a glaring question.

It defies common sense, and responsible record management, that such key documents would be destroyed. The inquest has yet to hear from the aide, the nurses and other staff on duty over the time Mr. Sinclair sat awaiting help. The video reviewed at the inquest showed that for almost all the 34 hours, Mr. Sinclair sat in pretty much the same spot in the waiting room in front of the TV. He had parked his wheelchair in an aisle that led to vending machines and the washrooms and hospital staff and numerous other people walked past him. (Evidence is that Mr. Sinclair vomited and the tape shows a chrome basin in front of the double-leg amputee’s chair.) The missing list of names is evidence the HSC ER had a formal record of Mr. Sinclair’s visit. Many questions remain to be answered, but one obvious outcome of the inquest ought to be a recommendation that all documents of patient contact, from the formal chain of triage on, must be treated as official hospital records and maintained as such.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board.

History

Updated on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM CDT: Adds live blog box, tag.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us