Friday, October 19, 2007

After five hospitals & 28 hours of pain, Canadian finally has appendix removed

This story by Laura Drake (National Post, Oct.19, 2007):

"Appendix removal took 28 hours, Tried 5 Hospitals

OTTAWA - When Dany Bureau's stomach started to hurt last week, he blamed it on his McDonald's dinner. He never imagined that the pain would eventually lead to his being turned away from five hospitals, getting lost in an ambulance en route to Montreal and a burst appendix removed 28 hours after his original diagnosis. Mr. Bureau, 21, was diagnosed with appendicitis in Wakefield's Gatineau Memorial hospital last Friday afternoon.
The small hospital does not have surgical capacity, so his doctor started looking around for one that did. Usually, patients from Wakefield are sent to Hull or Gatineau, but on that night, there were no available beds at either.
"They started calling all the hospitals around the regions," Mr. Bureau said yesterday.
[Meanwhile, his father, Robert, was waiting at home to find out which hospital his son would get in to. "I kept getting calls saying, 'We tried Hull, not working. Gatineau, not working. Buckingham, not working. Ottawa, not working. Maniwaki, no response.' I thought, oh my God, where are we going to end up, the States?"
After several hours of searching for a surgeon to no avail, a surgeon was eventually confirmed in Montreal. As Dany waited for an ambulance to arrive to take him from Wakefield, the pain in his side growing deeper and more unbearable, he said he was confused at why he had to go so far for what he thought was a simple surgery.
"If someone had something a lot more serious than me, what would they do? Or if the Montreal hospital had no personnel, what would I have done? Where would I have gone? I don't know."
Had Bureau gone to the States, chances are he wouldn't have waited so long. Please, do not tell Michael Moore of this anecdotal healthcare anomaly from Canada, home of the World's Best health system!

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