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CBC News I-Team Series: Questionable Care in Manitoba Nursing Homes

When we entrust our elderly parents or loved ones to the care of a nursing home, we expect they will be safe and well-treated. We don't anticipate they will end up falling, harming themselves seriously, or getting their heads caught in a bed rail.

The CBC I-Team obtained years of incident reports and accident data to understand what is happening in Manitoba nursing homes.

A picture emerges of understaffing and serious lapses in the quality of care in some homes:

  • Since 2000, the number of accidental deaths in Manitoba nursing homes has almost tripled.
  • During a four-year period, one Winnipeg nursing home reported more than 4,000 falls, and almost 500 reports of abuse against patients.
  • More than 200 incidents involving bed rails have been reported since 2003 in Winnipeg, including three involving patients who died.

In a series of stories all week, we will show you why deaths and serious accidents appear to be on the rise in Manitoba nursing homes.

Tune in to this special weeklong CBC I-Team series Monday, Oct. 27 - Thursday, Oct. 30 on CBC News at Six with Janet Stewart and Information Radio on CBC Radio One with Terry MacLeod and Marcy Markusa.

Accidental Deaths in Manitoba Nursing Homes

Source: Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for Manitoba

Manitoba Accidental Deaths

Examples of Critical Clinical Occurrences:

Tuxedo Villa – 2006 – major injury

Resident reports health care aide (from an agency) dropped her in the bath area causing pain in left outer ankle. She described one-person transfer. Aide states used mechanical lift to transfer to tub. Report states fracture resulted. Staff member banned from facility. “Will forward in writing expectations of staffing from agencies to our facility.”

Golden Door Geriatric Centre – 2005 – major injury

Resident was found on the floor in her room. Transferred back to bed after assessment. Day staff continued to assess and resident continued to complain of pain in hip. Transferred to hospital where it was determined that resident also had a heart attack. Hospital indicated the reason the resident had the heart attack was because she was left in pain so long with her fractured hip. Staff spoke with family regarding this matter.

Vista Park Lodge – 2004 – major injury

The resident sustained a fracture while being transferred by Medi-Van from Vista Park Lodge to Victoria General Hospital for diagnostic testing for another medical issue.

Fort Garry Care Centre – 2004 – major injury

At 06:30, staff found a resident in bed with a suspected broken/fractured femur. Resident was sent to Hospital. The individual is very frail. The last rounds would have been at 4:00 a.m.; however, it is not yet known whether this patient was seen during the rounds at that time. Family has been notified.

Golden Links Lodge – 2004 – major injury

A resident was being transferred by two health care aides when resident fell out of the sling. The resident was three feet raised above the bed. It was stated the resident’s upper left shoulder sling hook was not attached. The aide caught the resident’s head and shoulders. The resident sustained a fractured hip. The hospital determined she was not a candidate for surgery.

Golden West Centennial Lodge – 2004 – death

Resident was found deceased with face lodged between side rail & mattress. Face down on pillow, which was between the mattress and side rail.