Family seeks answers over 2021 hospital death of Eskasoni woman


A Cape Breton household is looking for adjustments to the health-care system after an investigation discovered hospital workers seemingly failed to supply correct care to their beloved one earlier than she died.

Bridget Anne Denny, 65, was taken to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney in January 2021 because of ache she believed was related to lupus, an autoimmune illness. She died in hospital the day after being admitted.

CBC News has realized the circumstances surrounding Denny’s death at the moment are being investigated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. According to a company spokesperson, no particulars of a criticism will be mentioned or confirmed.

Denny, an Eskasoni, N.S., elder and fluent Mi’kmaw speaker, was examined by an emergency room physician who found she was affected by a necrotic toe that seemingly required amputation. 

“She wasn’t on her deathbed,” stated Denny’s daughter-in-law, Mary I. Joe Francis.

Denny is proven together with her grandchildren. The Mi’kmaw elder died after a brief keep on the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in January 2021. (Submitted by Mary I. Joe Francis)

“She was speaking. She was alert, she was superb, aside from ache, like discomfort, however to not the acute.” 

Francis stated family members left Denny at night time and anticipated to debate therapy choices within the morning.

The following day, the household have been advised on the hospital she had died that morning. 

“I used to be anticipating that they have been going to take her into surgical procedure,” stated Francis. 

“And I stored asking, you understand, what had occurred? Was she alone? Like, in our tradition, it is essential that no one is left alone, particularly if they are going [to be] beginning their journey. But once more, we did not assume that that was going to occur.”

Francis stated a health care provider suggested the household that an post-mortem wasn’t needed, as Denny seemingly died from a number of ongoing well being points. After she was cremated and a funeral deliberate, one other affected person advised them Denny fell in a single day whereas in her hospital room. The household says additionally they realized she was handled poorly and her well being was not correctly monitored.

Bernadette Marshall of Potlotek First Nation is president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association. (Submitted by the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association)

“One of the sufferers… they have been ringing their buzzer [for] what appeared to be 20 to 25 minutes and no one got here to assist her off the ground,” stated Francis. 

“We had so many questions. Why? Why? Why? Then we had a letter are available from MSI [the provincial health insurance system] saying that she had obtained an anesthetic the day that she died.”

Francis stated she met with the hospital’s affected person relations division and questioned whether or not hospital workers had offered correct care. It led to an investigation below the Protection for Persons in Care Act (PPCA) by the Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care.

Report suggestions

The division’s report issued a number of directives to enhance care.

“In conclusion, there are affordable grounds to conclude that the ability failed to supply satisfactory care primarily based on the dearth of documentation to assist [the] facility’s insurance policies in response to the affected affected person’s unwitnessed fall,” it stated.

“This consists of failing to doc the affected affected person’s post-fall vitals and post-fall assessments firsthand.”

Francis stated her household can also be calling for a overview of how workers nurses dealt with her mother-in-law’s care.

She believes what occurred on the Cape Breton Regional Hospital has left her household with out a correct finish to their grieving. 

“After we came upon [about the fall]… I felt like we lied to our youngsters,” stated Francis. “Obviously we have misplaced an important individual to our household. But it is even worse when you do not know. We do not actually know what occurred. Nobody is taking accountability.”

Health authority says it may’t touch upon case

Nova Scotia Health stated it was unable to debate case particulars as a result of of privateness laws.

It stated issues raised over hospital care within the province will be mentioned with hospital service managers or affected person relations groups.

The well being authority stated it’s working to teach workers and physicians and to boost consciousness that the security of sufferers is a precedence.

Bernadette Marshall, president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, stated she’s heard many complaints over the years relating to care given to Indigenous women and men at Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

“I do not know what is going on on there — in the event that they’re simply too swamped or no matter,” stated Marshall. “The manner Mrs. Denny died — she should not have died the way in which she did. There ought to have been some kind of aftercare.”

Family seeks closure

Marshall stated the province may do a greater job of treating First Nation sufferers to ease their fears with regards to receiving assist.

She recommended that workers bear sensitivity coaching and that the well being authority rent Indigenous disaster navigators who’re well-versed in Mi’kmaw tradition.

Although nothing will convey Denny again, the woman’s household says discovering answers may convey some closure.

“I really feel like she’s not at relaxation,” stated Francis. “And truthfully, I do not want this upon anyone as a result of the ache is actual and it should be right here eternally.”



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