A Winnipeg woman says her husband almost died days after he was sent home from Grace Hospital's emergency room, raising more questions about how patients are discharged.
Judy Dack told CBC News that what happened to two men who died after being released from the same hospital's ER in late December, could have also happened to her husband, Jon.
"What is going on there? Where is this health system going to?" she said in an interview Tuesday.
"Even my family, they talked to me and they said, 'Did you hear the news? And it's the Grace Hospital.' And their first reaction was, 'Jon.' It's Jon all over."
Jon Dack, 63, had been rushed to the Grace with severe abdominal pain on July 19, but his wife said he was examined and sent home hours later with a prescription for Tylenol 3 painkillers.
Judy Dack said Jon returned to the hospital on July 23 — again, in severe pain — and it was determined that his gallbladder had ruptured.
"I just felt … is this the end? Am I going to be living on my own, without a husband?" she said.
Dack said her husband underwent emergency surgery and survived.
Jon Dack has a history of gallbladder and kidney problems, and he had spent three weeks at the Grace in May, said his wife, who added that he has returned to the hospital this week for further care.
Discharge policies in question
Hospital discharge policies have been in question since details surfaced about the two deaths, which are being investigated by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
- David Silver, 78, dies on porch after hospital release on -37 C night
- Winnipeg hospital confirms death of 2nd man after release
In one case, 78-year-old David Silver was sent home from Grace Hospital in a taxi on Dec. 31, but he did not make it inside the house and died on his front porch.
Health officials have said Silver died following a heart-related health complication.
Wayne Miller, 62, died after being released from the same hospital on Dec. 29 and was driven by taxi to his home on Arlington Street.
Less than an hour later, a passerby called 911 after seeing a man unconscious on the sidewalk outside the home. Miller was dead before emergency crews arrived.
Miller's brother, John, has said Wayne had a major aneurysm and was signed up for palliative care the night before he died.
In both cases, Silver and Miller had died shortly after being discharged from the emergency room at Grace Hospital and sent home in taxis.
'Who was the doctor?" wife asks
The pair of deaths has prompted the Manitoba government to call for a new province-wide protocol that puts the onus on taxi drivers to ensure discharged patients get inside their homes safely.
But some, including John Miller, have said the real issue is Manitoba hospitals releasing patients who should not be sent home.
The Canadian Association of Retired Persons, a lobby group representing seniors, said on Tuesday that the province's plan to make taxi drivers responsible for discharged patients getting home safely is "idiotic."
Judy Dack said she wonders if the emergency room doctor who discharged her husband on July 19 was also responsible for the care of Miller and Silver.
"Who was the doctor that let them go? Was it the one doctor that treated Jon?" she said.
Dack said she complained to hospital officials, who told her the emergency room doctor was very apologetic for what happened to her husband.
She was also told that the emergency room had been understaffed that night.