This experience is to make everyone aware the abnormal and disturbing wait time at St. Boniface hospital ER for my wife who has a congenital cardiac ailment.
July 20, 2015 – Monday
My wife starts having shortness of breath, feels constricted oesophagus and lungs and starts gasping for breath. She also starts having severe sharp chest pain on the left, radiating to her jaws and to her left hand. I immediately take her to St. Boniface ER.
We were called by the triage nurse and clerk and all the details were asked (i.e. What exactly happened?). We explained the situation and she is given a bed in ER. ER nurse introduces herself and asks the same question “What happened?” Her vitals are checked, blood drawn for various test, and an EKG done. This entire process took around 2 hours.
I asked one of the ER nurses – What is going on? She has not yet been seen by any doctor. The response was one of the parroted ones. Docs are busy and one would definitely see once available.
Dr. Barnes comes in and introduces himself as a resident. Asks the same question – What happened? After explaining the problem for the 3rd time, he mentioned acknowledging the problem and speaking to his senior Dr. Doucet.
Dr. Ducet comes in and asks the question again – What exactly happened? Please note that we have spent already 4 hrs in ER repeating our problem 4 times. Dr. Ducet acknowledges that myocardial bridge is uncommon and it is in the best interest of everyone that he would page a cardiologist.
2 doctors (residents) come in – Dr. Lau and Dr. Jaramello. They introduce themselves as residents from the Cardiology department and ask the same question – What happened? Spending already 6 hrs in the ER without a visit from a senior cardiologist, and repeating the same answers for the 5th. time were really straining our nerves. Keeping calm, we explained the symptoms again. They decided to repeat the bloodwork and EKG again to make sure there are no aberrations.
ER nurse comes in and administers Morphine to relieve the cardiac pain. We are still waiting for the mercy of some senior cardiologist. In spite of asking the nurses repeatedly how long the wait time is – the response is unanimous – We can’t comment. 8-10 hrs wait in ER is not abnormal.
Dr. Ivan Zelentsov come in and introduces him as a resident surgeon from the cardiology dept. Asks the same question for the 6th time – what happened? After hearing the symptoms, he recommended the same repeat EKG and bloodwork that was suggested at 6:30 pm. EKG and bloodwork done. Asked the ER nurse again – What now? The answer given is “We need to wait for the results. That would be another hr for sure.”
Asked again – what is going on? ER Nurse replies saying we are waiting for a senior cardiologist to see her finally and come up with a plan. But we don’t know when.
No update. We keep on waiting
We decided it is enough!! 11 and a half hrs in ER just to be consulted by a senior cardiologist!! We both were feeling claustrophobic, and decided to leave the hospital. The nurse handed us a form to sign as we were leaving the ER against medical advice. We left at 11:30 pm.
I am yet to recover from the shock that we waited more than 11 hrs in ER, and no senior cardiologist was available for consultation!! St. Boniface is a teaching hospital and has a separate cardiac specialization center. It is considered as one of the best in Winnipeg, and this is the ordeal we had to go thru. Just want to ask – Is this the type of treatment one expects in ER, and is this how our tax dollars are spent for healthcare?
I want this experience to be heard by someone, and eventually reach the right authorities. I am available at email@example.com for any further feedback/questions.