Ambulance scarcity, clinic closure did not trigger 65-year-old Quebec man’s demise: coroner

An ambulance scarcity and lowered clinic hours in Quebec’s Abitibi-Temiscamingue area weren’t important components within the demise of a 65-year-old man, a coroner has dominated.

Richard Genest of Senneterre, Que. died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm in late 2021.

Within the early hours of Nov. 30, Genest referred to as 911 with stories of nausea and intense ache in his again, abdomen and thighs.

However just one ambulance was operating in Senneterre that evening, which means one other ambulance from a neighbouring municipality roughly 30 km away needed to be referred to as.

Genest would not arrive on the hospital in Val-d’Or, almost 70 km away, till over two hours after dialling 911.

Visiting the emergency well being clinic in Senneterre (CLSC) wasn’t an choice on the time. It is usually open 24/7, however hours have been quickly lowered in October of 2021 because of an absence of workers.

Nevertheless, coroner Geneviève Thériault says these obstacles weren’t the reason for Genest’s demise — fairly, it was as a result of he waited too lengthy to hunt medical consideration within the first place.

“Sadly, the truth that Mr. Genest waited almost 19 hours between the start of his ache and his seek for medical help through a 911 name was, for my part, crucial issue within the circumstances of his demise,” Thériault wrote.

Genest reportedly complained of his signs to buddies on the morning Nov. 29, the day earlier than he died. They suggested him to go to the Senneterre CLSC earlier than it closed at 4 p.m, however Genest insisted the ache would go.

That night, his signs worsened. His buddies really helpful he name an ambulance, however he stated he would go to the CLSC within the morning.

At 2:38 a.m. on Nov. 30, Genest’s situation grew to become too painful to bear, and he phoned 911. However by the point he referred to as, Thériault stated, it was too late.

Genest suffered two cardiac arrests, one en path to Val-d’Or and one other after he was transferred to a distinct hospital, once more 70 km away, within the municipality of Amos.

He died within the Amos hospital elevator on his technique to surgical procedure.

Had he been despatched to Amos straight, Thériault stated his possibilities might have been improved — however there are “too many components at play” to say for sure, including that the “protocols in power had been revered.”


Following Genest’s demise, Senneterre Mayor Nathalie Ann Pelchat despatched a letter to the Quebec Well being Ministry claiming that, if he’d been in a position to see a neighborhood physician, the tragedy might have been prevented.

However based on Thériault’s evaluation, even when Genest had the choice of visiting the Senneterre CLSC earlier than he referred to as an ambulance, it seemingly would not have helped.

“Would a cease on the CLSC’s emergency room have improved his probabilities of survival? I doubt it,” she wrote, explaining that the CLSC would not have possessed the precise diagnostic instruments.

“The CLSC has easy X-ray gear, however the sort of examination just isn’t very efficient at confirming an aneurism,” she stated.

Whereas it is attainable to invest what might need occurred if a CLSC physician decided the precise prognosis, insufficient gear however, “hypothesis doesn’t symbolize details,” Thériault continued.

The clinic’s full-time hours have been restored in March following protests from the local people.


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