Thursday, June 10, 2010

BMP Wait Time One of the Worst

By Alex Roslin

Sherbrooke Record

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

If you’ve got a health emergency and you go to the Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins Hospital in Cowansville, get ready for one of the longest waits of any hospital in Quebec.

A survey has found that the BMP Hospital has the worst record of any small hospital in the province in terms of emergency-room wait times.

And the hospital’s wait times are only getting worse, with its overall grade dropping from a D to an E+ since the previous survey.

Emergency patients at the hospital wait an average of almost 25 hours before finally getting a hospital bed, being transferred to another institution or getting discharged, according to the province-wide annual survey by the newspaper La Presse.

The Quebec average is 17.5 hours. The province says it wants to reduce that average to 12 hours.

Also, 19 percent of BMP patients wind up waiting 48 hours or more—compared to a provincial average of 7.2 percent.

The culprit, say hospital workers, is a chronic lack of nurses and beds. “The lack of nurses certainly has an impact. We’ve said that for a long time,” says Carole Guillette, president of the local nurses’ union.

“The staff are really overworked, especially in the evenings. Patients are waiting in the corridors and in chairs. It’s clear there are not enough beds.”

And don’t look to the BMP Hospital’s recent expansion to solve the problems. It won’t add a single new bed to the facility, Guillette says.

In fact, since Guillette started working at the hospital in 1982, she says it has actually reduced its number of beds from 100 to less than 80. What’s more, the number of administrative staff has increased while the number of nurses has remained the same. Nurses’ caseloads have also become heavier and more complex with medical advances and the aging population.

BMP Hospital officials didn’t respond to several calls requesting comment for this story.

In an interview with another newspaper, Dr. Christian Léger, the hospital’s director of medical affairs, suggested that part of the problem is the region’s high portion of seniors.

But a similarly high ratio of seniors in Magog didn’t stop that city’s Memphrémagog Hospital Centre from having the second-best emergency wait time in Quebec.

In fact, the Magog hospital’s record is one of the few pieces of good news in the survey.

If you have the time to drive to Magog, your emergency wait time could be less than a third of your wait in Cowansville—just 7.5 hours.

And only 0.7 percent of emergency patients in Magog wait more than 48 hours. That’s a tiny fraction of the number in Cowansville.

1 comment:

lulu62 said...

I would be really interested in a patient follow up for this fabulous emergency. We did not wait long on June 29th at 4am. I called 911 for the first time in my life as my husband was terribly ill. We went right in and they gave him some tylenol for the fever. I explained that he had been getting sicker for a period of 2 weeks. He had been vomiting green bile 2hrs before we got to emergency. Then they discovered his white cell count was high, indicating an infection. When the nurse did an ultrasound on his bladder, it showed he was dehydrated. It also caused him pain when she touched the plastic indicator to his abdomen. I kept asking them if that was normal. We told them his abdominal pain had been getting worse all week. They sent us home with tylenol for the fever and said they thought he might have an infection somewhere. But where? Dunno. They said to keep taking the tylenol and let the infection run it's course. So we went home and tried to control the fever with tylenol every 3 hours for 6 days and he continued to worsen. I tried to get him to go back to the hospital, and he said what for? On the following Monday I convinced him to see a doctor in Mansonville. The doctor immediately sent him to Magog with a suspected appendicitus. Once again, we got in within an hour. Fabulous wait times!!!!!!!!! They sent us home once again with an appointment to see emergency at the Hotel Dieu in Sherbrooke the next morning. He was so ill I had a hard time getting him in and out of the car. We were up all night and he was terribly ill at this point. The next day he was operated on at the Hotel Dieu for a perforated appendix. They had not seen anyone in such a bad way still alive. He was there for 2 weeks and is recovering very slowly. I have heard many similar stories over the last few weeks. Some involving babies (2 to be precise) a mechanic that nearly lost his eye after being sent home with eyedrops, and 2 others with similar tales. I plan to make a complaint against the doctors that saw my husband at the magog hospital, and I wonder what they would be if everyone actually complained about them. Oh, did I forget to congratulate them on their fantastic wait time? Yes, and I would rather wait and be treated properly than get rushed in and out with tylenol. We are lucky he is alive at all. I will never go to the Magog hospital, even if I suspect I am dying. I would really like to see a follow up with the helpless victims rushed through the speedy BMP emergency.