ORNGE air ambulance leaves baby waiting 4 hours

A newborn had to be rushed to a Detroit Hospital after an ORNGE air ambulance was too slow to respond to a call in Windsor, Ont.

Air ambulance flight delayed by operational issues so doctors send baby to Detroit.

A newborn had to be rushed to a Detroit hospital after an ORNGE air ambulance was too slow to respond to a call in Windsor, Ont., earlier this month.

The boy, one of a set of twins, was supposed to have been flown to a London hospital for emergency surgery.

Instead, the doctors had to rush the infant to Detroit when the minutes waiting stretched into more than four hours. The incident took place Feb. 3 but was only made public this week.

David Musyj, the CEO at Windsor Regional Hospital, said the hospital requested the transfer at approximately 5:30 a.m. but the flight didn't arrive until 9:30 a.m. By then, the baby had been transferred to Detroit.

Musyj said the time spent waiting, coupled with the pending flight time to London, forced his staff's hand.

"Our physician staff made the decision that the baby could not make it," he said. "We had to have the child transferred to Detroit to have the procedure performed in Detroit."

Musyj said the ORNGE company representatives told him that the delay was due to operational issues.

ORNGE had little comment on what happened.

"The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) does not permit health care providers to share personal health information outside the "circle of care" without explicit patient consent," media relations officer James MacDonald wrote in an email to CBC News.

MacDonald wrote that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is now investigating this call and we will be fully cooperating with them.

Musjy said the baby is still at the Detroit hospital.

Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak raised the issue in Queen's Park on Thursday.

He said he plans to continue prodding the Liberal government and researching the entire ORNGE service until changes are made.

"Again, we see the inadequacies of the air ambulance service under the ORNGE providers. So it raises definite alarms," Natyshak said.