Discipline action called ‘inadequate’ for severe burn during cast removal

A Saskatchewan mother is speaking out after her son's cast removal at a clinic left him with severe burns.
A mother says the response from the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons is “inadequate” after her son was burned during a cast removal. Stu Gooden / Global News

The mother of a boy who received second-degree burns during a cast removal is not happy with the response from Saskatchewan’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Eli McWalter received the burns on his arm and hand when a cast was removed in February after he fractured his left thumb in a tobogganing accident.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan boy suffers burns from cast removal

Sheri Wollf, Elias’ mother, said it happened at the Gama Clinic in Warman.

She filed a complaint against the doctor with the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Wolff was disheartened to learn that that the only disciplinary action the doctor would receive was a one-day training session.

“That feels inadequate. He has scarred a child for life and he has to do one day of re-training,” Wolff told Global News.

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“That doesn’t sit right with me. That doesn’t feel like enough.”

READ MORE: Canada’s health-care system is third-last in new ranking of developed countries

Wollf wants the public to know about the dangers of having fiberglass casts removed.

Since Global News first aired the story, Wolff said she has received messages from all over the province about similar burns.

In a statement to Global News, the College of Physicians and Surgeons said while they are unable to comment on individual cases due to privacy laws, they said doctors are only charged when their conduct is unprofessional – not simply for making one mistake.

They added that there is an expectation that doctors “would only perform procedures they are trained and capable of doing.”

“We could not justify recommending mandatory training if there is no indication it is needed by all Saskatchewan doctors.”

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