“Mismanagement” responsible for the deaths of the first wave at the CHSLD de Laval, according to the coroner’s inquest – .

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“Mismanagement” responsible for the deaths of the first wave at the CHSLD de Laval, according to the coroner’s inquest – .


A total of 102 residents of Sainte-Dorothées died from COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic. By April, two-thirds of the home’s workers had been infected.

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Poor management is responsible for a high number of deaths in a CHSLD in Laval during the first wave of the pandemic, according to a union advisor at the CSN.

Gilles Tremblay, the counselor, made the statement during his testimony during the public inquiry into the deaths in long-term care homes of coroner Géhane Kamel, which focuses this week on the CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée.

Tremblay, who represents nursing aides at the Régie de la santé de Laval, criticized the provincial government for “sending everyone to CHSLDs” to free up places in hospitals at the start of the pandemic. He said that in the midst of the first wave, hardly anyone from long-term care homes had been transferred to hospitals.

“But the hospital was empty, it was a ghost hospital,” Tremblay said, adding that refusing to send nursing home residents to the hospital amounted to “agicide”.

“Why didn’t we give them the chance to have the best ventilators and the best care? Tremblay asked. “Why weren’t they entitled to intensive care?”

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Low in oxygen

Laval Nurses, Respiratory Therapists and Auxiliary Nurses Union vice-president Déreck Cyr said the maximum amount of oxygen in ventilators for COVID-19 patients has been reduced to avoid producing aerosols.

On April 3, 2020, nurses made use of their “right of refusal” – which allows them not to perform a task that endangers their health – and demanded that they be given N95 masks if they were to approach residents whose devices produced aerosols. No N95 was sent to Sainte-Dorothée.

“The doctor said they were indeed right,” but they had to “reduce the oxygen” even if it was harming the patient, Cyr said.

“It would have been much easier to provide N95s,” he said, adding that managers blamed the department for the decision not to distribute them.

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During this time, no CHSLD doctor went to the home; they all made their diagnosis over the phone.

A total of 102 residents of Sainte-Dorothée died from COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic. As of April 2020, two-thirds of the household’s workers had to stay home because they had been infected.

Tremblay also denounced the slowness with which the Laval authority implemented public health measures during the first wave of the pandemic.

He said he requested a screening center in Sainte-Dorothée on March 20, but the mass screening effort did not take place until two weeks later, on April 3 for residents and April 7 for employees. A total of 105 residents tested positive.

Tremblay criticizes the employer for having refused protective equipment for a long time. Indeed, several Sainte-Dorothée employees who have testified over the past two weeks reported that in March, their superiors ordered them to wear only a surgical mask when entering the rooms of infected patients.

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The health authority’s procurement manager, Martin Delage, confirmed in his testimony on Tuesday that the warehouse “had never been out of stock”, despite a handful of times they have approached this possibility. .

The coroner’s inquest aims to examine the deaths of elderly or vulnerable people in residential settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, which accounts for half of the victims of the first wave. Its aim is not to blame, but to make recommendations to avoid future tragedies.

Six CHSLDs and retirement homes were chosen as a sample, with one death examined in each establishment.

This week’s hearings focus on the death, on April 3, 2020, of Anna José Maquet in Sainte-Dorothée.

A national component will then be examined.

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