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A Quebec Doctor Shared A Story About A Patient Who Died After A 16-Hour Hospital Wait

"This same patient had waited 16 hours [...] in another hospital without being seen for his pain. He left."

Senior Editor
Quebec hospital emergency room sign.

Quebec hospital emergency room sign.

A Quebec doctor took to Twitter Saturday morning to share the story of a patient who he says died in his care after unsuccessfully waiting 16 hours in another hospital. Radio-Canada was the first to report on the doctor's account.

"I ended my night on a patient who died in front of me," Dr. Sébastien Marin of the Montérégie region's Barrie Memorial Hospital wrote. He identified the cause of death as a ruptured thoracic aorta.

"This same patient had waited 16 hours yesterday in another hospital without being seen for his pain. He left."

"I couldn't do anything, he died within minutes of arriving."

Dr. Marin said the patient was known to have had an aneurysm and was waiting to see a surgeon.

"Once the aneurysm is ruptured, despite all the effort we put into it, there is little to do but offer our condolences," he explained.

Responding to Radio-Canada's coverage, Dr. Marin charged that the performance of hospital "staff is not the problem" responsible for long emergency room wait times, "but rather the overload that makes their work impossible."

According to online data from Quebec's Ministry of Health, emergency rooms in the province were at 125.4% capacity as of October 17, the highest they've been in 12 months. In Montérégie, emergency rooms were at 139.6% capacity as of the same date. In Montreal, they were at 139.9% capacity.

MTL Blog has reached out to the Ministry of Health for a comment on this story. We'll update this article once we receive a response.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Thomas MacDonald
    Senior Editor
    Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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