'Chaos inside of the system': Hospital overcapacity issues led to patient death, Sask. nurses' union says
Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 5:21AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2019 5:38AM CST
SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses says there are current overcapacity issues affecting nurses and patients in Saskatchewan, and they allege it’s resulted in a hospital patient's death.
Tracy Zambory, the union's president, called the patient's death a "nightmare". Zambory believes the death was a result of under-staffed emergency rooms that do not have the necessary support systems that can assist patients effectively.
"We’re going from 12 health regions down to one, and it’s causing chaos inside of the system,” Zambory said.“We’ve mixed all of these things together, and we now have the perfect storm in health care. That’s how this happened."
The news comes after the NDP released internal Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) memos that outlined an overcapacity crisis at Royal University Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.
On Wednesday, the SHA told CTV News in a statement that "a critical incident review was initiated in October in response to a patient death at RUH.”
The health authority says through the normal review process, it’s been determined to not be a critical incident.
"Critical incident reviews are initiated when there is a rare or uncommon occurrence in a medical environment and this begins immediately after an incident,” read the statement from the SHA. “The purpose of these reviews is to determine if there is a known harm caused or potential for harm."
The health authority says the outcome of a critical incident review is not made public.
Zambory says for the protection of the nurses involved and the patient’s family, she’s not sharing additional details about what happened.
The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses is calling on the provincial government and the SHA to meet with the union in hopes of developing a solution to capacity issues at hospitals.