Security Guard Assumed Man Who Died After 34-Hour ER Wait Was Intoxicated

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Canada — A security supervisor at Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre’s (WHSC) testified August 28 that nurses believed he was joking when he told them a man had died after waiting 34 hours in the hospital’s emergency room.

On Sept. 19, 2008, double-amputee Brian Sinclair arrived at the hospital to receive treatment because he had not urinated in 24 hours, Canadian Press reports. Video footage showed that Sinclair remained in the same position for 34 hours without receiving any treatment from hospital personnel. It was later determined that Sinclair died on Sept. 21, 2008, from a treatable bladder infection caused by a blocked catheter.

Alain Remillard, another security guard at the hospital, stated that he assumed Sinclair was intoxicated and was “sleeping it off” when he noticed the patient had vomited on the floor. Rather than calling nurses to check on the patient, he called housekeeping to clean it up, the National Post reports.

Gary Francis, the security supervisor at WHSC, told an inquest that he greeted the patient on the night he arrived at the hospital. The following evening, he noticed that Sinclair remained in the same spot, Canadian Press reports. Later, another patient approached Francis stating that Sinclair was dead. Francis maintains that when he alerted nurses of the issue, they thought he was joking. It was only after they realized Francis was telling the truth that they tried to revive Sinclair, who was pronounced dead minutes later, Francis said.

Francis also stated that when he asked for Sinclair’s chart for a report of the incident, nurses informed him that no chart had ever been created.

Another security officer, Ed Latour, testified that he questioned nurses about how long Sinclair had been waiting, as he had been working a 12-hour shift when the patient first arrived. The next evening, after find Sinclair slumped over in the same spot, Latour claimed he asked the nurse on duty at the triage desk if Sinclair had received any treatment. The nurse allegedly responded that all was well with the patient.

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