Baby's death caused by neglect, chiefs claim
Manitoba aboriginal leaders are claiming that a baby has died as a result of poor medical care at a nursing station in a remote northern community.
Grand Chiefs David Harper and Derek Nepinak called for an inquiry after the death of a two-month-old infant who was treated at the nursing station on the Gods Lake Narrows First Nation in northern Manitoba.
The child's parents, Paul Ross and Erna Hastings, said they took their daughter, Drianna Ross, to the nursing station last Thursday. The child was sent home with painkillers, they said.
"We know when our baby's sick," Ross told reporters.
"She was so pale," Hastings said.
"They made a remark that she's just pale like her mother," Ross added.
On Friday, when the baby's condition deteriorated, Drianna was flown to hospital in Thompson where she died Saturday morning.
"It could have been easily prevented if the medical team acted right way, rather than waiting for this baby's condition [to] deteriorate," said Chief Michael Yellowback of the God's River First Nation.
Health Canada told CBC News it will conduct a review into Ross's death, and officials will meet with the family once that review is complete.
The Gods Lake Narrows nursing station has five nurses, and doctors are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to a Health Canada spokesperson.
A spokesperson for Manitoba's chief medical examiner's office said it is too soon to tell if a public inquiry will be held.
The chiefs raised concerns about medical treatment on northern reserves this past January, following the death of Kirby Wood, 28, who died after being sent home from a nursing station in God's River.
"How many more of our people need to die before something changes?" Yellowback said.