LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - A union says three workers have been suspended at a long-term care home in Alberta where allegations were made that mice bit a disabled patient's face.
Glen Scott, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, says the three employees at the St. Therese Villa in Lethbridge were sent home this week.
Scott says the employer, Covenant Health, has told the union the suspensions stem from the allegations about the mice incident.
Rayne Kuntz, a spokeswoman for Covenant Health, wouldn't confirm the suspensions because she says it is a human resources issue.
Friends of Medicare said that on Sept. 1, staff saw mice on the face of a woman who has dementia and whose disabilities would have prevented her from removing the rodents.
Covenant Health has said that while a mouse was seen in the patient's room, there is no medical evidence that the woman was bitten by rodents.
It also said that staff did not document anything.
The allegations have prompted Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne to call an investigation under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, along with a review into whether health standards were breached at the St. Therese Villa.
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Death on operating table.
In 2010, Andres Martinez went to hospital to undergo a routine appendectomy. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/01/29/calgary-fatality-report-andres-martinez.html" target="_blank">He would not make it out of the hospital.</a> Three years later, a report examining the cause of his death, revealed a doctor who had already been working 17 hours straight, used the wrong surgical tool, that caused injury to a blood vessel.
Miscarriage at Peter Lougheed Hospital...
In 2006, Rose, and Rick Lundy went to the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2006/07/26/miscarriage.html" target="_blank">Peter Lougheed Centre</a> emergency room. At the time, Rose was three months pregnant, and was suffering from abdominal pains. Rick would approach nurses five times pleading for help to no avail. Rose miscarried the baby while sitting in the waiting room.
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2006/10/03/ab-miscarriage.html" target="_blank">Problems with the Peter Lougheed Centre</a>, didn't end with Rose and Rick Lundy. Erin Wilson form Strathmore lost her baby while waiting in the packed waiting room for six hours. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2006/10/04/miscarriage-apology.html" target="_blank">Her miscarriage </a>happened only a month after the Lundy's lost their child.
Deloris Morrison died while waiting for treatment at Grey Nuns Community Hospital in Edmonton. She and her daughter drove to the facility, which was farther away than the University of Alberta Hospital, because a wait times app said the second hospital had a shorter wait time. She was finally seen three hours later but bled to death internally from an aneurism while waiting several more hours to be admitted.
Adolph wasn't the only patient who vanished from doctors, and nurses. Suicides, escapes, and vanishing acts have plagued hospitals in Alberta. Starting in 2010, a nine month stretch at the Alberta Hospital in Edmonton <a href="http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/07/28/27-patients-escape-albert-hospital-in-nine-months" target="_blank">saw 27 patients escape from the hospital grounds.</a>
Her last cigarette.
68 year old Lorraine Adolph was allowed out for a smoke at the Alberta Hospital Building 12, a mental health care facility. <a href="http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/alberta-hospital-death/16aedunzl?cpkey=cbcc2012-1302-2111-0033-219636044000%257c%257c%257c%257c" target="_blank">Her body was found behind an abandoned building a week later</a>.
Death by sanitizer.
RCMP thought it was just another case of another alcoholic who had to sober up in jail cell. In May 2010, <a href="http://globalnews.ca/news/410757/alberta-hospitals-remove-hand-sanitizer-bottles-after-death-of-drunken-man-4/" target="_blank">Kurt Kraus died in his jail cell in Gleichen</a>. An inquiry discovered that Kraus ingested 10 anti-depressant pills, and swallowed hand sanitizer at a hospital in Vulcan.
Without a doctor in rural Alberta
<a href="http://milkriver.ca/tourism/history" target="_blank">Milk River, Alberta</a> is named after a river that flows from southern Alberta, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. That fact is not way the town has been in the news. The town of under 1000 people <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/02/13/calgary-rural-doctor-struggle.html" target="_blank">has only one doctor, who has held off retiring while the town desperately seeks more doctors.</a> The province states 40 rural communities are currently facing doctor shortages.
"The Error of Their Ways."
It is not uncommon to visit a hospital for surgery, and never see your family again. Medical mistakes, reactions to medications could increase your stay, or end your life. That reality was explained in a <a href="http://thewalrus.ca/the-errors-of-their-ways/" target="_blank">Walrus article</a> The story cited a poll from 2004 that stated, 7.5 per cent of patients will experience at least one adverse event during their stay. Because of those events, more than one million extra days are spent in hospital care. Of the amount of patients who react badly to treatment, and/or medication, around 24,000 of them die.
Young doctors to the rescue.
To help ease the strain of the rural doctor shortage, the Alberta government initiated a program called the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/03/11/calgary-rural-doctor-program.html" target="_blank">Rural Integrated Community Clerkship</a>. The program places medical students from the University of Alberta, and the University of Calgary into rural towns, to ease them into the profession, as well as contain the issue of doctor shortage.
Sent home with a broken leg.
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/02/13/calgary-rural-doctor-struggle.html" target="_blank">Greg Poirier fell down the stairs of his Edmonton home</a>, and hurt his leg. Crawling up the stairs to call a cab, he went to the hospital, and sent home, and was called by a Alberta Hospital administrator, all within 24 hours, to return to the hospital for treatment. At the first trip, he was given pain pills, and his leg was bandaged. It was only during the second trip he discovered he had a broken leg.
A nine month wait.
<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/calgary/features/mentalhealth/" target="_blank">The CBC has followed</a> the dangerous, and sad state of Alberta's mental health care system.<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/03/07/calgary-youth-mental-health-part-one.html" target="_blank"> One case</a> proves just how handcuffed Alberta's mental health professionals are in providing treatment. After cutting her arms from her shoulder to her wrist, Daisy Haynes was told she had to wait 9 months to receive treatment at a hospital. Diagnosed with major depression and emotional dysregulation, Haynes was given anti-depressants, and asked to wait it out.