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Triaged patient dies while awaiting treatment inside Red Deer emergency room


A person died Sunday while waiting for a bed inside the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, a spokesperson with Alberta Health Services confirmed Tuesday.

"The patient had been triaged, and later reassessed by emergency department staff, and was waiting for further care in an emergency department space," Kerry Williamson told CTV News Edmonton.

"Our thoughts are with this patient’s family, friends and loved ones."

Williamson did not provide a gender or age of the patient and he did not say exactly where the patient died inside the hospital.

No cause of death was provided but Williamson said the Medical Examiner had been notified.

"We acknowledge that wait-times at RDRHC were long at certain times over the weekend due to a surge in demand, and an increase in very sick patients. We do not know if this incident was the result of wait-times in the Red Deer emergency department," Williamson said.

He added that the ER was "fully staffed," and an investigation is underway.


"We are available to discuss any questions the family may have. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. Our thoughts are also with our emergency department physicians and staff, and we will continue to provide all available support to the individuals and the site," Williamson said.

Health Minister Jason Copping was asked about the death during a COVID-19 briefing Tuesday afternoon, but he said he didn't have many details.

"I'm taking this matter very seriously, I've asked AHS for a report and they're looking into it," Copping said.

The minister acknowledged that there is an "infrastructure deficit" in healthcare in central Alberta, but said he couldn't provide any new information on work being done to address that.

Copping claimed AHS is doing all it can to staff facilities across the province, including creating Pandemic Response Units in Edmonton and Calgary.

"We're bringing on board numbers of nursing students, we've hired over the last two years hundreds of nurses into the system. We recognize this is going to be a challenging time, but we're going to continue to focus to provide the best care for Alberta patients," Copping said. Top Stories

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