Impacts of COVID on the Healthcare Professionals is a Concern
The COVID pandemic has hit many work sectors hard. Arguably healthcare workers were among the most suddenly and continuously impacted. The initial fear of the unknown deadly virus which was poorly understood meant that many healthcare streams were disrupted and workers redeployed. They were working day and night for the first months trying to save lives and stop the spread of the virus. Many healthcare workers succumbed to the disease themselves and died.
As the pandemic continued the virus became better understood but the pressure on workers continued. Hospitals were closed to the public. The critically ill and dying had no comfort from their loved ones in their last hours and days increasing the pressure on healthcare workers even more. Mandatory overtime, no holidays, a lack of respite for them from the stress resulted in healthcare workers leaving the profession.
Other healthcare workers in LTC (long term care facilities) faced similar if not greater challenges. Many bureaucrats in these homes were documented to have refused to hand out PPE to workers, conditions in the homes were documented to be particularly bad with some residents dying of neglect in Canada. Disease in the homes spread unabated. The pay for LTC workers is considerably lower than that of hospital staff.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information’s annual report on the health work force confirmed that
- Canadians avoided emergency depratments (daily visits were down 22%)
- By April 2021 87% of respiratory admissions to the ICU were for COVID-19
- LTC was disproportionately affected with deaths higher than expected in waves one and two
As a result of conditions in the LTC facilities, the number of overtime hours the lack of ability to provide safe care to residents, the high mortality rates, overtime and other pressures over the course of almost the last three years, fewer nurses are now willing to work in the facilities.
The government of Ontario has attempted to attract more workers to the healthcare field by offering free tuition for PSWs, by increasing the pay of LTC workers, and by easing the credentialling of foreign healthcare workers.
You can read the entire CIHI report here, and a great summary of the report’s findings and other facts in The Globe and Mail here.
If you lost a loved one due to negligent care in a LTC during COVID you may have legal recourse through a number of class action lawsuits that heave been filed.
Nursing home and LTC fatality claims are complex. There are a number of issues that need to be assessed in order to determine issues like the type of care that was or was not provided; were standards of care met; if there was a breach in the standard of care did that breach result in the premature death of your parent. Signs of abuse and neglect are bedsores that are untreated or improperly treated; weight loss due to malnutrition; poor personal hygiene; unsanitary living conditions; lack of proper supervision and medication.
The care provided at a nursing home can be a strain for the facility at times. This has led to poor situations involving clients and that poor care has contributed to fatalities. The onset of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic has made some nursing home circumstances particularly dangerous for clients. Could the fatal outcomes have been avoided? Possibly. In order to answer that question it will require an investigation and legal assessment of the actions by the potentially at fault parties and whether those actions, or lack of actions, were improper, unreasonable, reckless and contributed to the passing of your parent.
In order to determine whether a Nursing Home fatality claim is viable, it will require a thorough review of medical and nursing home records to try and assess the treatment provided and the cause of death. This may require the assistance of a medical expert to assess the treatment provided by the nursing home and to assess the cause of death. Damages in a viable Nursing Home fatality claim cover a wide range including pain and suffering for the deceased, family law act claims for family members of the deceased, aggravated damages for the mental harm inflicted on family members, punitive damages to punish the reckless conduct that resulted in the disregard for the care and life of your parent and the failure of the nursing home to fulfill their contractual duty to your parent.
There is lot of work involved in order to investigate a claim. The first step though is to contact one of our personal injury lawyers to review the circumstances of your parent’s matter and provide you with an opinion on the validity of your family’s claim.
Contact one of our highly experienced personal injury lawyers today to set up your free consultation. 1.519.742.7774