New Brunswick

Vitalité says staffing, wait times normal when man died at Edmundston ER

The Vitalité Health Network says staffing levels and wait times were normal at the time of a man’s death at the Edmundston hospital’s emergency department this week.

Though it issued a statement calling ER death 'tragic,' Vitalité won't say what happened

Vitalité Health Network says it likely won't release more details about the man's death. (Radio-Canada)

The Vitalité Health Network says staffing levels and wait times were normal at the time of a man's death at the Edmundston hospital's emergency department this week.

But the health authority still isn't saying exactly why the man died at the hospital on July 24.

In a news release, Vitalité referred to the death as a "tragic incident" but repeated its earlier statement that the staff who were on duty at the time acted in an "exemplary" way.

"All triage processes have been observed and completed properly by the staff on site," the release said.

"The management of the incident by the Edmundston Regional Hospital staff was exemplary and reflects the high level of skill and professionalism of the staff."

The health authority said it could not release any more information because of the "sensitive and confidential nature of the event."

The network has shared no details about the person, why they were in the emergency room, what happened leading up to the death or the cause of death. 

Health Minister Bruce Fitch said the circumstances of the man's death in Edmundston were different from the death of a man waiting for attention from the emergency department in Fredericton. (Government of New Brunswick)

In its Friday statement, Vitalité said it was continuing an "internal root cause analysis" of the event and has put additional security measures in place to further protect the safety of emergency department staff.

No one else was hurt during the incident, Vitalité said in its initial statement. 

Health Minister Bruce Fitch said earlier this week the circumstances of the death were "much different" from those surrounding the death of a man at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton earlier this month.

In the wake of the Fredericton death, Premier Blaine Higgs appointed a new health minister, fired the CEO of the Horizon Health Network, Dr. John Dornan, and replaced the boards of both health authorities with trustees.

Higgs left Vitalité CEO Dr. France Desrosiers in place. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacques Poitras

Provincial Affairs reporter

Jacques Poitras has been CBC's provincial affairs reporter in New Brunswick since 2000. He grew up in Moncton and covered Parliament in Ottawa for the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. He has reported on every New Brunswick election since 1995 and won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Newspaper Awards and Amnesty International. He is also the author of five non-fiction books about New Brunswick politics and history.

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