Friday, July 11, 2008

Dianne's Medical Emergency

© MMVII v 1.0.5
Morley Evans February 3, 2007

Map of South East Saskatchewan
from Regina to Manitoba border
showing Madge Lake 1, Kamsack 2, Regina 3&7, Glenavon 4, Wolseley 5, Broadview 6

A. Principal Characters:

0.1 Dianne: patient (home - Wolseley, Sask.)
0.2 Brad: Dianne's boyfriend (home - Glenavon, Sask.)
0.3 Dr. M. Heroux: emergency, Regina General Hospital
0.4 Dr. Bella: Wolseley Hospital (Wolseley, Sask.)
0.5 Dr. DeWit: Broadview Clinic (Broadview, Sask.)
0.6 Dr. E.J. Smith: surgery, Regina General Hospital

B. Events:

1. Saturday 25th Feb 2006: Dianne was cross country skiing on a trail at Madge Lake, Saskatchewan
1.1 She fell between 1:30 pm and 2:00 pm and broke her right humerus just below the ball in the shoulder socket, it was later determined.
1.2 She was rescued by a fellow skier who immediately went for help.

2. Dianne was put on a stretcher back board and evacuated by ambulance to the nearest hospital in Kamsack, Saskatchewan.
2.1 She was strapped onto a board because the ambulance people were afraid she might have a spinal injury.
2.2 At the Kamsack hospital, X-rays were taken. The hospital said they couldn't provide a complete picture of the injured area because they were unable to position the patient properly because she was strapped to the board and she had excruciating pain in her right arm.

3. Dianne was taken by ambulance to the Regina General Hospital (RGH) — 300 kms (about 3 hours)
3.1 At RGH, Dr. M. Heroux looked at the X-rays from Kamsack and said Dianne had two hairline fractures in her humerus (upper arm bone).
3.2 The doctor said her spine and neck were not injured.
3.3 Dianne insisted she had a broken arm or shoulder — because she could feel it crunch when she moved it, even slightly — and that they should X-ray the arm and shoulder again. Dianne suspected, but was uncertain, that she had osteoporosis at this time.
3.4 Dr. Heroux refused to take an X-ray of the arm and shoulder.
3.5 Sunday 26 Feb 2006: Dianne was discharged from RGH in her son's care in the early morning hours. She was wrapped in a bed sheet with paper slippers in the cold of winter. Her winter clothes and shoes had not been sent with her in the ambulance at Kamsack. Instead they were given to Brad who returned to Glenavon from Kamsack to await a call from RGH. Dianne was in great pain and discomfort. What if something had happened to the vehicle enroute?
3.6 Regina General Hospital (RGH) only prescribed STATEX (Morphine) 5mg before discharging Dianne with a broken shoulder.

4. Brad drove Dianne to his residence in Glenavon from her son's home on Sunday afternoon. She spent a terrible night in pain there.

5. On Monday morning Brad drove her to Wolseley hospital where more X-rays were taken of her arm and shoulder. No mention of a major problem was made by Dr. Bella who was the attending physician in Wolseley.

6. With nothing done in Wolseley hospital, Brad drove Dianne to Broadview medical clinic with the Wolseley X-rays for another opinion of the injury. After one look at the X-rays, Dr. DeWit phoned Regina and booked an appointment in RGH for 9:00 am the next morning (Tuesday).

7. Early Tuesday morning, Brad took Dianne back to Regina for her appointment at the RGH. She was kept in the hospital and booked for surgery that day.
7.1 Tuesday 28th Feb 2006: Surgery was done by Dr. E.J. Smith late that evening. He had to use a plate to reattach the body (shaft) of the humerus to its head (ball).
7.2 The operation at RGH went well. The pain was intense a few hours later as the anaesthetic wore off.
7.3 Thursday 2nd March 2006: Dianne was discharged into Brad’s care.
7.4 Dianne started therapy 3 weeks later in Grenfell, Sask.

8. Dianne was very happy with the care she received once she got some care.

C. SUMMARY of emergency treatment for Dianne’s broken shoulder

• Total distance travelled seeking treatment - over 700 kms
• Total days before treatment was received - 3.5 days
• Total hospitals visited - five hospitals
• Total medical staff involved - emergency, nurses, doctors, support . . .
• Dianne lost over 4 months from work.

Why didn’t they take Dianne to the hospital in Yorkton? 80 km (about 1 hour). They could have gone to Winnipeg 472 km (about 4.5 hours) They could have gone to Minot, ND which is closer than Winnipeg!

So many questions. So few answers. Why?

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