Woman died after 11-hour ER wait at New Brunswick hospital, sister says

Woman died after 11-hour ER wait at New Brunswick hospital, sister says
MONCTON, N.B.—The sister of a woman who spent some of her final hours waiting in a New Brunswick emergency room says she believes the wait contributed to her death.

Donna Bordage says Marianne Porter waited for 11 hours in the Moncton Hospital before being seen.

Bordage said her sister spent that time hunched over and moaning in pain, and she believes the wait contributed to her death only hours later.

“She was having a hard time breathing, she was visibly uncomfortable, she couldn’t stand up, she couldn’t eat,” Bordage said.

Bordage said Porter went to the hospital last Saturday morning for what she believed was a hernia.

Porter’s vitals were normal, but she was left in the waiting room in severe pain, waiting for hours before she was finally seen, her sister said.

Doctors worked on her sister overnight, but her kidneys eventually shut down and she died just after 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Porter was 58. She had three children.

A spokesperson for the regional health authority, Horizon Health Network, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dr. Serge Melanson, the president of the New Brunswick Medical Society and an ER doctor at the Moncton Hospital, said he couldn’t speak to the specific incident of Porter’s death

But he said half of Moncton Hospital’s ER beds are at times taken up by people who can’t be transferred to a unit or another ward due to overcrowding.

“I think that is a clear example of demonstrating that there is a real human cost to the reality that we are living,” said Melanson.

“As much as we may look at the data in terms of numbers, in terms of wait times and percentages of hours, for example, at the end of the day, it is our patients and the community at large that we are failing by not meeting their needs in a more timely fashion.”

Melanson said the Moncton Hospital’s ER isn’t meeting any of its wait time targets and it has begun to take a toll on both patients and staff.

“As a practising ER doctor, I have a lot of regret when I see a patient who’s waited eight hours to see me,” he said.

Bordage said she believes hospital officials did everything they could, but believes that overcrowding was a contributing factor in her sister’s death.

“I don’t think that anybody, under any circumstances ... should have to sit in a room for 11 hours before you can see a doctor,” she said.
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