Suspicious deaths prompt hospital investigation

Officials at Sacre Coeur Hospital say they welcome an investigation into the operations of their trauma centre.

Quebec's College of physicians says it plans to evaluate the quality of care at the hospital following the suspicious deaths of two patients.

Two separate incidents

In the summer of 1998, Jean Sebastien Martel died from an intravenous overdose while he was being treated for a broken leg by doctors at Sacre Coeur's trauma centre.

A few weeks later, Isabelle Perreault was admitted to the trauma centre with a fractured leg. She died 14 hours later of respiratory failure following an overdose of medication.

Quebec's College of Physicians says the coroner's report in these two cases called for medical investigators to look into treatment procedure at Sacre Coeur.

"Since Sacre Coeur is a trauma centre in Montreal, one of the two trauma centres, we want to be sure anyone who has an accident and goes to Sacre Coeur can receive good quality of care," says Dr. Jolle Lescop of the College.

Hospital open to investigation

Officials at Sacre Coeur say they have nothing to hide. The director general of the hospital says he will gladly collaborate with any independent investigation of their operation.

Pierre Rollin says they've already put in place the coroners' recommendations.

"Essentially, it was about the monitoring of the cases and we just follow those recommendations," says Rollin.

The College of Physicians says it will release the results of its investigation in June. The Quebec Order of Nurses will also undertake its own investigation into the matter.