The body of a man was left on a stretcher for about two and a half hours on Saturday at the Honoré-Mercier Hospital in Saint-Hyacinthe, Montérégie.
The body was lying in a very hot condition in the garage of the hospital where the ambulances were coming from.
“Like we decided to put this stretcher with a corpse in the entrance hall of the hospital. It is like a hospital entrance hall for patients coming by ambulance, ”explains David Cognon, vice president of the Quebec Prehospital Workers’ Brotherhood (FTPQ-SCFP).
When a patient dies in an ambulance or when an ambulance is called to pick up the body of a deceased person from home, the rest is left in the garage by paramedics.
After that the hospital is responsible for moving the body.
At this point, at the Honoré-Mercier Hospital, paramedics had to report, so the body was finally taken care of by the hospital and moved.
“It simply came to our notice then that the hospital staff did not want the body to be disposed of. They need to realize that this is not the right thing to do. We think of family, we think of medical assistants, it’s the working environment. This is not the right place, we do not understand why this is always happening again and again, ”laments Mr. Cognon.
According to the union, since 2019, bodies have been left in the garage at least ten times.
Paramedics took to Twitter to call on Health Minister Christian Dube to prevent a recurrence.
The Office of the Minister of Health describes the situation as “unacceptable.”
“We are going to check with CISSS immediately. We understand that there is a severe shortage of manpower in the network, but such a situation should not occur. This is a question of respect for the deceased and his family,” the company said in an email to TVA Nouvelles.
The management of the institution maintains in an email that “the arrival of the ambulance with the patient who died for several hours was an exceptional circumstance”.
“The ER doctor was busy looking after patients waiting for treatment, and we had to wait for the autopsy permission to move the patient to the morgue. In addition, the room for the dead patients was already occupied.
“Our teams care about our users and our partners. We are making every effort to prevent this from happening again,” the e-mail read.
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