February 17th 2015

Official complaint from the family of a patient at the Foothills Hospital – Nina Magas.

This is the official complaint to make you aware of the situation that is taking place at the Foothills Hospital, Calgary.

We are the family of a patient Nina Magas (86 years old) would like to express our feelings of hopelessness in the situation that is taking place at the Foothills Hospital. The goal of this letter is to make the authorities to be aware of this complex situation and to present Nina Magas with an opportunity to stay at the Foothills Hospital or any other rehabilitation facilities for further rehabilitation process until her recovery is reached and she is physically ready to be taken home.

The patient, Nina Magas (86 years old) was admitted to the hospital on December 25th with a severe stroke where she underwent a surgery (angiogram) that was not successful to remove the blood clot. The patient was then brought to the Unit 112 where she remained until January 4th and was then moved to the stroke unit at the Foothills Hospital. Even though given that the area of the stroke was quiet large, at the time between December 25th 2014 and January 2nd 2015 – Nina Magas has been showing some progress in her recovery already. On the day of January 2nd 2015 she even got up from the bed and was standing for a minute with the help of the physio and occupational therapists. Then shortly after the physio session, there was an incident that took place that has brought Nina’s Magas recovery backwards lowering her blood sugar levels, which has resulted in a low blood pressure from January 2nd – January 7th 2015, stealing the time from the recovery. More so the treatment was not adjusted properly according to her low blood pressure and only by the request of the family was changed 5 days later. Below is the Official complaint of the incident on January 2nd 2015 at the Unit 112 at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary that was sent to the Patient Relations Services on January 4th 2015.

Official Complaint of the incident on January 2nd 2015 at the Unit 112 at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary.

This is the official complaint to notify the authorities about the situation that took place on January 2nd 2015 at the Unit 112 at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. The patient, Nina Magas (86 years old), with the stroke was admitted to the hospital on December 25th underwent a surgery (angiogram) that was not successful to remove the blood clot. The patient was then brought to the Unit 112 where she remained until January 4th and was then moved to the stroke unit at the Foothills Hospital.

The complaint about the situation that took place on the January 2nd is as follows. The patient, Nina Magas, has been on her road to recovery as the day by day was passing. The patient’s stroke details are as follows: the paralyses on her right side (no leg or arm movement) and no speech or swallowing ability. On January 1st there were noticed some significant progresses with her leg and arm movement. She then had a very good sleep at night time. On January 2nd sometime around noon, Nina Magas had a visit from the occupational Therapists and some exercising was done, the therapists even practiced standing with her for the first time after the stroke. She was then placed in the chair and sometime later it was noticed by the family member (Irina Makeeva – granddaughter) that Nina started to fall asleep in the chair and the family member had no ability to wake her up. The medical personnel were called upon the concern of Nina being so drowsy and sleepy. Her blood pressure was checked as well as her blood sugar level. Both of them showed extremely low numbers: the blood pressure was around 80/50 and the sugar was at 2.4. The patient was given a dosage of glucose to raise the sugar levels, but it didn’t seem to help. The medical personal was then asked to transfer the patient from the chair to bed after which her sugar levels were checked again, but it was now at 1.6 as well as the blood pressure remained low. A few attempts were provided to raise the sugar levels with a few doses of glucose. The patient was showing signs of coma, non-responsive, very lightheaded and very weak and sweaty.

An hour after hour the blood pressure was checked as well as the sugar levels and slowly the sugar levels have begun to rise. When the medical personal was asked about the status and the reasons of such a significant drop in sugar level, the responses received from the personnel were not clear. The request to see the doctor took 6 hours before he came. In the meanwhile the patient was taken for a planned CT scan the results of which have not shown significant changes from the last CT scan one a week ago.

When finally the doctor was seen at 10 pm, the reason provided by him of what has happened to the patient earlier was not clear. His explanation was that it was an electrolytes disorder. And his suspicion was that this fluctuation is because of the stroke.

Throughout the whole night after the situation has happened, the sugar levels of the patient and the blood pressure were checked hourly but the patient was still unstable.

On the morning of January 3rd, Dr. Herman has visited the patient verbally acknowledging that the patient was treated with the wrong medication on January 2nd that are responsible for sugar level decrease. This was a medical error of mistaking the patients on the unit 112. Nina Magas was given the medicine that was ordered for another patient, which as a result has brought her to a hypoglycemic condition.

When this was mentioned to the family members, they have decided to make the authorities aware if the situation and to request to take some action against the error that could bring the patient to an “unfortunate death”.

Further to notify you, we would like to note that at least one member of our family is constantly present with the patient 24/7, as she doesn’t speak or understand a word of English.

We, the family members of the patient above, Nina Magas would like to request a further investigation of this situation.

On behalf of the family members of Nina Magas, Irina Makeeva

As you may see the Patient Relation Services are well aware of the situation and the case is being investigated. At this moment, Nina’s Magas family is still waiting for a clear explanation of what has happened and a written admittance of a mistake done by medical personnel. There was a verbal consent provided by Nina Magas to assign her daughters Iryna Magas and Elena Makeeva as well as her granddaughter Irina Makeeva to have a full right in Nina’s Magas medical decision making. Therefore this letter of a complaint is brought to you on behalf of Nina Magas by her family members.

There was a conversation with the Unit 112 Manager – Darren Knox, who has clearly stated that all the documentation on the day of the incident on January 2nd 2015 is in order and no mistakes were made. This is an unprofessional way of approach; this is why there is an open investigation by the Patient Relations Services that we are waiting a full report from.

We are greatly concerned about the Hospital’s approach to move Nina Magas off of the Hospital Facilities to a suggested nursing home where she will no longer be provided with the rehabilitation services as it has been seven weeks now from the point when Nina Magas was first admitted to the hospital with the stroke. According to the Hospital’s Policy if the patient is not showing significant progress in their recover within the 7 weeks period, they need to be whether moved to some other facilities or to be discharged home. But in Nina’s Magas case her recovery has begun only after she came out of the hypoglycemic condition, which the medical personnel of the Foothills Hospital was responsible for. As past this incident Nina Magas was recovering two weeks and fighting her low blood pressure as a result of a hypoglycemic coma. Therefore she had no physio or occupational therapy done within those 2 weeks. Nina Magas true recovery started taking place only in the middle of January. But according to the Hospital’s Policy she now needs to be moved somewhere else. With every day Nina’s recovery becomes better and better, she is now moving her right arm and leg that were paralyzed before; she is very responsive and she can now talk. She is sure on the right way to the recovery. And we strongly believe that because of the medical mistake that took place on January 2nd 2015 there shall be an exception out of the Policy rules made in Nina’s Magas case and she shell be kept at the Foothills Hospital with the further Rehabilitation Practice. On February 12th and February 13th 2015, we were expecting an expert who would evaluate Nina’s Magas condition as a third opinion and suggest his recommendations on her transfer, whether it would be to a rehabilitation center or to a nursing home. Instead a rehabilitation specialist from Unit 71 of the Foothills Hospital – Dr.McNeil has visited Nina Magas and suggested that she is not ready for a Rehabilitation, what about an expert that we were waiting for two days?

We understand and realize that the expert’s as well as the rehabilitation specialist’s opinions may come to one conclusion, but given that Nina has lost time for recovery after the incident and seeing her great improvements today and every day that is better and better, we believe that Nina is suitable for Rehabilitation Facilities.

The question of a nursing home is out of the equation, as we strongly believe that it will only worsen Nina’s condition after realizing that she is in a nursing home. This practice is not appropriate to our culture. And we believe that it’s not time to take her home either as the house is not set up with the transporting lifts and other equipment for a patient who doesn’t walk yet. For the past seven weeks we have been managing within the family to stay with Nina at the hospital 24/7. Her safety and her recovery are our main concern right now. We will continue to support Nina in her journey to recovery, but we would like to see more cooperation from the Hospital, considering Nina’s recovery first.

Another thing to consider is that as family we has not been given even a formal apology for what has happened and through what difficulties and stress we have to go through now. We believe that a lot of situations, details of which we are ready to bring upon your request were handled unprofessionally by Canadian doctors can do their work, with lack of ethic, morals and, most important, professionalism.

We strongly believe that Canadian health care is not supposed to be about business. First of all it shall take care of the sick people, and that is by not just sending them off to a nursing home, given that there is a chance for a recovery. It is unfortunate that it brings us – Canadian citizens the honest tax payers, people who are proud to be living in a country that the whole world considers to be as a standard of living with such a disappointment and embarrassment of our country’s health system. And if this situation will not be resolved within a nearest future, we will have to bring this situation to the media awareness.

On behalf of Nina Magas and all family members, we ask you to consider our complaint as the top of the priority and comply with our request.

Thank you.

The family of Nina Magas.

Contact information:

Iryna Magas (daughter of Nina Magas) – 403.619.6470
email: iryna-m@yandex.ru

Elena Makeeva(daughter of Nina Magas) – 403.926.7150

Irina Makeeva (granddaughter of Nina Magas) – 403.701.0595
email: irinamakeeva@hotmail.com