Sunday, December 30, 2007

Brampton Civic Hospital operates on wrong leg

A Brampton family is frustrated after their 72-year-old grandmother had the wrong leg cut open during Christmas Day surgery at the city's new hospital.

But residents demanding better hospital care say the alleged medical mistake is one more in a long list of complaints they've heard since the Brampton Civic Hospital opened last October 28th.

Amar Kaur Brar, 72, fractured her thigh bone when she slipped from the stairs at the family's Brampton home, her granddaughter Kanwaljot Brar, 21, told The Sun yesterday.

"She just missed one stair and fell down," Brar said.
The family took her to the emergency room at Brampton Civic where doctors told them her left leg was broken and surgery was needed.

"In the operating room, doctors cut Amar's right leg open," Brar said, adding the cut ran almost the entire length of her grandmother's thigh.

When they realized that the bone in Amar's right leg was okay, they stitched her up and performed surgery on her left leg, she said.

"She's in so much pain now," Brar said. "She can't move either leg ... she can't move at all."

Doctors told the family after surgery that they opened the wrong leg, she said.
Along with the pain, Amar has been confused and disoriented since the operation.
She remains in the hospital with her son Gurcharan Singh Brar at her side.

"We don't know what to do now for her," Brar said.

The issue is further complicated because Amar arrived in Canada from India in August and wasn't issued a health card until Thursday.
Brar said the family isn't certain if they will have to pay for the hospital care up to that point.

This week's incident comes a few weeks after 1,000 residents took to the streets protesting conditions at the hospital, where they claim patients wait up to 12 hours in the emergency room only to deal with understaffed and insensitive health-care workers.

In response to inquiries about Amar's case yesterday, the hospital issued a statement.
"William Osler Health Centre's top priority is the well-being and safety of our patients and staff," the statement reads.

The centre is made up of Brampton, Peel and Etobicoke hospitals.

In order to protect patient privacy, the hospital said it could not comment on the specific case. "We cannot release any information about a patient or any information about the care provided to a patient without his or her written consent," the release states.

The hospital does have a quality of care committee, a patient incident reporting system and a patient safety committee in place to respond if an incident occurs.

"We're following all of our processes with regard to this case," hospital communications director Gillian Williams McClean said.

Rajinder Saini of Bramptonians for Better Health Care said the incident is another in a long list of complaints the group has heard about the hospital.

"Things are not good at this new facility," Saini said.
"They use excuses like shortages of funds and staff." He called operating on the wrong leg an 'unbelievable' mistake."

"She had swelling on the broken leg, they had X-rays, they had everything,"
Saini said.

Media attention focused on the hospital in November when Brampton resident Harnek Sidhu, 52, allegedly waited 12 hours for a bed before he died of pancreatitis 10 days later.

Following the protests in early December, the province stepped in and appointed a hospital supervisor.

Amid the problems at the new hospital the future of the old hospital, Peel Memorial, remains uncertain.
Protesters have maintained the fast-growing city needs both hospitals to serve the burgeoning population.
A plan for the old site, that has been temporarily closed when the new hospital opened, is being developed.
Two public meetings, one January 9th at the Pearson Convention Centre and January 17th at Courtyard by Marriott on Biscayne Court, have been scheduled.
Both meetings start at 7:30 p.m.

Source: Toronto Sun

Related articles:

Brampton Civic hospital has cost $340 million more than planned

Brampton Civic Hospital under fire

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