Staffing levels and capacity not factors in Edmundston ER death: Vitalité

Click to play video: 'New details released about N.B. patient ER death'
New details released about N.B. patient ER death
WATCH: New details have come to light in a patient death at the Edmundston Regional Hospital’s emergency department. Vitalité Health Network has issued a statement suggesting staffing and occupancy levels did not factor into the incident. And as Robert Lothian reports, the health authority is introducing measures to mitigate future risks – Jul 29, 2022

New details have been released about the state of the emergency department at the Edmundston Regional Hospital when a patient died.

On Monday, Vitalité Health Network, the health authority responsible for the facility, revealed that “following a tragic event,” a patient had died, but offered very few details about the incident.

According to Dr. France Desrosiers, president and chief executive officer of Vitalité, staffing and capacity levels did not factor into the fatality.

Wait times at the emergency department were not “above standard” and the facility possessed adequate resources to “safely manage the patient,” stated a news release issued on Friday.

It added that staff completed triage processes properly and their management was “exemplary.”

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Specific details about how the patient died are shielded by confidentiality.

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An internal root cause analysis surrounding the incident is still underway, and Vitalité noted that further recommendations will be put in place in accordance with the Health Quality and Patient Safety Act.

Click to play video: 'Another ER death under investigation in New Brunswick'
Another ER death under investigation in New Brunswick

Security risks

In the release, the health authority stated additional security measures have already been introduced to increase the safety of the emergency department.

Jean-Claude D’Amours, the Liberal health critic and MLA responsible for the region, says further details on new security measures must be released.

“When we talk about security, we need to understand why it was not done, you know, since other situations that happened. So we’ll need to understand what has changed in Edmundston, what will be the impact within the other hospitals, and what will be the impact provincewide.”

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Following previous calls for transparency, D’Amours stated he was pleased the health authority released more details on the incident. He added that there must be further transparency in the coming weeks.

“We need to provide accuracy, and we need to provide transparency, that’s what the population of this province is asking,” he said.

“Without the specific details, you know — we don’t need to know all the specifics about the individual and all that.”

In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for the Department of Health stated that due to an ongoing police investigation and a review by Vitalité, they are unable to discuss details surrounding the death.

“The department has an obligation to protect the privacy of the patient, and to respect the investigative process.”

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