Herron resident with COVID-19 symptoms was ignored for days, while others were on the brink of death, inquest hears

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A resident at Heron Nursing Home, who developed breathing problems due to COVID-19, was left alone for three days until he was able to get an ambulance to take her to the hospital , a Montreal nurse recalled Friday at the coroner’s interrogation.

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Sometimes crying, the nurse described a visit to Heron the following week, where elderly residents, some who hadn’t bathed for months, told them they expected to die soon, away from their loved ones.

Marie-Ave Rompre, a nursing supervisor at St. Mary’s Hospital, was a witness appearing before coroner Gehne Kamel, who is hearing testimony in this month’s events that led to 47 deaths in a long-term care at Residence Heron in the spring of 2020. Happened. Home in Montreal’s West Island.

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The investigation previously heard that most of Heron’s staff had gone missing after the first resident died with COVID-19 on March 27. Two days later, another Heron resident admitted to St Mary’s was showing symptoms of COVID-19, Ms Rompre said. He eventually tested positive.

The man told St Mary’s staff that a man living in a nearby room had died of a new disease. He said that he was having trouble breathing for three days, but no one answered the call bell, so he himself called the ambulance service.

Later that day, three administrators from the local health authority, CIUSSS ODIM, went to Heron and found only three staff left to care for the 139 inedible, dehydrated people.

Ms Romprey led a team of St Mary’s health care workers, who joined other outside workers sent to Heron to fill in the missing personnel. She went home for the first time on the evening of 8 April, before the rest of the team arrived on 9 April.

She said the facility was still in disrepair and the condition of residents remained pathetic.

He examined a resident woman with a swollen leg and a wound on the tailbone. The woman said she was in constant trouble, but her drug chart indicated that she had not been given painkillers for more than a month.

A bandage covered the woman’s wound, but it was not replaced long enough that the skin over it grew back. Ms. Rompre suggested that she find a specialist to look at the wound. The woman replied that she had resigned herself to the strip that never came off. “I’ll die with it,” she said.

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Ms. Romprey also went into a room where a semi-conscious resident, Therese Maltais, was moaning. Then the bedside phone rang. It was Ms Maltese’s husband who started crying because it was the first time anyone had responded in weeks.

Ms. Rompré gave Ms. Picked up Maltais and grabbed the receiver of the phone. The couple cried when they were talking to each other again.

Ms. Maltese later told Ms. Rompre: “I don’t think I will be able to achieve this. It’s not going well.” She was hospitalized but was among 47 people who died.

CIUSSS employees are not allowed to interact with the media without authorization. Ms Rompre said she told other health officials what she saw, but added, “I never go to the media. I wanted to keep my job.”

Heron’s problems were finally made public on April 10 by the Montreal Gazette.

On March 30, the health authority told Heron’s owner, Samantha Chauveri, that it was taking charge of her facility. However, the CIUSSS did not take full control until 10 April, and both sides accused each other of prolonging the crisis.

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The head of a personnel agency that supplies staff to Heron testified Friday that a CIUSSS administrator gave him an ultimatum: to transfer or push his employees to the health authority. “We wanted to help … it was bizarre,” said the head of the agency, whose name is under the publication ban.

Documents filed at the inquiry show that officials thought that recruiting Heron personnel into the CIUSSS would stabilize staffing.

The lingering chaos led Ms. Kamel to express displeasure over the state of neglect of residents even after the CIUSSS took over.

In a report recorded at the exhibition, Marilyn Leduc, a nurse who visited Heron on April 4, saw a resident in a common room without pants, an overflowing diaper hanging down to her knees. “The poor man has dried feces on his thighs,” she wrote.

“Technically you’ve been in control of the facility since March 30. How could this guy be in this situation on April 4th?” Ms. Kamel asked. “It’s not even basic hygiene.”

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