October 10, 2017 8:02 am

Senior’s disturbing experience at Halifax Infirmary prompts changes to end-of-life protocols

Kim D'Arcy displays an image of her late husband Jack Webb at her home in Bedford, N.S. on Thursday, April 13, 2017. Webb died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but not before enduring a difficult ordeal with a health care system that is grappling with the pressures of overcapacity

Andrew Vaughn/ The Canadian Press

A Nova Scotia hospital has rewritten waiting time rules and end-of-life protocols in response to the disturbing story of how a dying 68-year-old man languished for hours in an E-R hallway.

The Canadian Press has received an internal report on changes made by the Nova Scotia Health Authority after the saga of Jack Webb’s treatment emerged in late April.

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The report says that as of this summer, the Halifax Infirmary requires internal medicine specialists to meet their patients within two hours when transferred to the hospital.

That didn’t happen in Webb’s case, and after his wait, he was also bumped from various rooms due to hospital crowding and repeatedly asked by various staff if he would agree to a do-not-resuscitate order.

READ MORE: ER spillover into hallways at Halifax hospital creating patient risk: study

The review of his case has also resulted in changes to the training of medical students, who are working on methods of speaking to dying patients about their prognosis.

WATCH: Halifax hospital ER spillover creating patient risk: study

Jason MacLean, the president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, said the reforms are useful but he says he wonders why they haven’t been in place for years.

He also says health staff are still telling him that hospital E-Rs remain as crowded as ever, though the health authority says some beds are being opened at other facilities in the city.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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