'There has to be a better way,' London dad says after ER nightmare

A London dad is sounding the alarm after a four-hour wait for a 20-second fix for his toddler's bloody forehead in the children's ER this week.

A London dad is speaking out after a four-hour ER wait for a 20-second fix to his fevered son's bleeding wound

10-month-old Jamieson McCall spent four hours waiting at the Victoria Hospital children's ER for a 20-second fix for his bleeding forehead. (Jeremy McCall/Supplied photo)

A London dad is sounding the alarm after a four-hour wait for a 20-second fix for his toddler's wound in the children's ER this week. 

"I don't blame the staff, they're doing the best they can, but there's only one pediatric emergency room in this city, and they don't have enough resources," said dad Jeremy McCall. 

His 10-month-old, Jamieson, has pneumonia, diagnosed on Tuesday morning after a four-hour wait with a fever at Victoria Hospital's children's emergency room. 

He also has a small skin tag on his forehead that has recently appeared. Little Jamieson keeps scratching it. 

Wait in ER too long, dad says

"He's ripped it open three times in the last five days," McCall said. "We've had to go (to the ER) twice because it won't stop bleeding on its own. Literally all they do is take a Q-tip, dip it in silver nitrate and dab it on the bleed because it won't stop on its own." 

On Saturday, the family went in to the ER and the silver nitrate solution was administered on the boy's forehead. 

On Tuesday, Jamieson started coughing and spitting up mucus. A four-hour wait at the ER at 3:30 a.m. led to the diagnosis of pneumonia. 

Later Tuesday, Jamieson ripped open the skin tag. His mother tried to get to the walk-in clinic in time but arrived at 7:50 p.m., ten minutes before closing. They wouldn't see her. 

At 8:05 p.m., she went to the ER and was told there was a two-hour wait. A nurse put a small bandage on Jamieson's forehead, but it didn't hold the blood. The wait ended up being four hours.

"You had to have a kid in the ER with pneumonia, waiting for four hours to see a doctor for no reason," McCall said. "They told my wife to put pressure on (the boy's forehead) but that didn't help. She had to throw away her sweater when she got home because there was so much blood on it." 

Both times the family asked to take some silver nitrate home with them, in case the bleeding started again. They were told it might leave a scar, so they couldn't have it. 

"It's our kid. We can decide whether we care about a scar or not," McCall said. 

"He had to sit beside a girl for two-and-a-half hours who is coughing all over the place, with a fever when he should be resting, because they're worried he might have a scar. I wish they would have triaged him, looked at what the solution was on Saturday, flagged someone down and dabbed that stuff on. It would have taken 20 seconds." 

The London Health Sciences says the average wait time Tuesday night in the pediatric ER was 4.4 hours. 

A spokesperson was unavailable to speak generally about how triage is handled at the children's ER and also couldn't talk about the McCalls' situation because of privacy laws. 

The hospital urges anyone with a medical emergency to call 911 or go the the nearest emergency room. 

Those with non-life threatening illnesses and injures are asked to consider going to a walk-in clinic, the St. Joseph's Hospital Urgent Care Centre or to contact their family doctor. 

The phone number of Telehealth Ontario is 1-866-797-0000.

'Patients come first,' Matthews says

London MPP and Deputy Premier Deb Matthews said in a statement to CBC News that all Ontario residents should have access to health care. 

"Patients come first, and every decision we make is centered on helping people in their everyday lives by providing high-quality, convenient care," she said.

Matthews said Ontario's 2017 budget devotes $7 billion in new spending into health care over the next three years, including $1.3 billion to cutting wait times. 


Kate Dubinski


Kate Dubinski is a radio and digital reporter with CBC News in London, Ont. You can email her at