COVID-19 Crisis at CHSLD Laflèche: Inside, Employees

The beneficiary’s assistant, who likely contracted COVID-19 while working at the Shavinigan facility, was the first to testify on Wednesday morning. She claims to be in a coma due to the virus.

The beneficiary is convinced that it was March 24, 2020, when she was about to look for a wandering resident, that she became infected.

I take her in my arms because she is very excited, so I take her by the shoulders, put her to me and bring her to her room.she remembered. I understand that she is sweaty and very hot she said during a hearing held at the Shavinigan courthouse. Then she asked to lock the woman in her room.

It was at the beginning, nobody knew … We treated it like a flu virus, we didn’t know, we did everything we could.

Quote from:Beneficiary in CHSLD Laflèche

A few days after this intervention, while she was on vacation, the nurse began to feel worse, and on March 29, she went for a COVID-19 test. She couldn’t tell if the isolated woman had COVID-19 at the time.

It wasn’t until April 2, four days later, that the medical staff learned that they had contracted the virus. She claims that the health authorities never called her to tell her the result, and that it was her doctor, with whom she had a phone call, who checked her file and gave her the news.

Lack of staff and unsanitary conditions

The first healthcare professional to testify on Wednesday noted that very often you have to work with one less colleague.

The attendant also pointed to a persistent shortage of nurses, which made it difficult to ensure follow-up for patients suffering from coughs or injuries. Often there were only six months. [quart de travail] she announced. She says she has never worked with a regular nurse in her 11-year career. They were often replaced or absent.

You have to love the inhabitants, because there is nothing funny about how they are treated.

Quote from:Beneficiary in CHSLD Laflèche

The lack of human resources, which affects even before the outbreak of a pandemic, affects patient care. The attendant who testified on Wednesday morning said that basic assistance was still being provided, but sometimes some compromises had to be made.

If you give me a choice: leave them in their dresses, or lift them up and make them drink, feed, and go to the bathroom when they need to, I’d rather leave them in their dresses and do the rest. They were washed, residents, she explained. According to her, it happened that they took one bath a week instead of two. She believes that this is the longest way to compromise between CHSLD Laflèche employees.

She says it can take days to clear the floor outside the door. She adds that there were bats and that an invasion of ladybirds had already taken place.

Another person on duty indicated that masks and protective equipment were not available in sufficient quantities at the facilities. The attendants had to go and pick them up from the managers’ office, where they were being kept locked up.

Clues about the last days of Maria Lermitte’s life

The first assistant to the beneficiary to testify knew Maria Lermitte well because she worked in Unit 4 where she lived. The death of an 82-year-old woman on April 6, 2020 is the focus of this public hearing. The circumstances of his death serve as a starting point for coroner and attorney Gehan Kamel to explore crisis management at CHSLD Laflèche.

She confirmed that Miss Lermitte screamed a lot. She also said that she loved her very much and hugged her. This was my beloved Maria, she said.

Maria Lermitte is one of 44 CHSLD Laflèche residents who died from COVID-19 during the first wave.

Photo: courtesy of Sophie Reuni.

The attendant claims to have seen him for the last time on March 26, his last working day before going on sick leave, which continues to this day. She claims that Mrs. Lermitte was then normalI did not report anything in my report she said under oath.

Another beneficiary assistant said that she stopped Ms. Lermitte’s move as a last resort. She was about to be moved to another floor as she did not have COVID-19, but shortly before Ms. Lermitte took the elevator, the nurse told the attendant that the woman was positive. His unit was a hot zone at the time.

This Assistant Beneficiary, who has worked during the day, ensures that she takes good care of Ms. Lermitte until the end of March. She says that at that moment the resident ate as usual, but by March 29 she was a little weak.

The social worker said that she spoke with Ms Reunis on April 2-3. Daughter of the residence was very worried about whether her mother was feeding adequately, whether she was getting adequate fluids

So the social worker went to see the care team. Participants reportedly reassured her that they had been given stimulation that they were trying to feed Ms Lermitte, but the social worker says she cannot know if Ms Lermitte actually ate and drank.

She said she went to Marie Lermitte’s bed for a few minutes. She was asleep, she looked peaceful, it was her birthday, she said.

The social worker’s office was next to Maria Lermitte’s bedroom. She insisted on saying that Madame Lermitte was something other than a screaming lady. She said that she was a beautiful woman, very gentle, with time she cried much less. It was a woman who took your hand and said, “I love you.”

Severe conditions, according to a social worker

A social worker who testified on condition of anonymity on Wednesday learned by word of mouth that CHSLD Laflèche had a case of COVID-19. She emphasizes that she had access to personal protective equipment, but did not necessarily feel safe in the face of this unknown virus.

There was a period of uncertainty before the situation cleared up as to what employees may or may not do about the virus, and what equipment to wear and when, she said.

[Au début de la crise]I’ve been on the floor a lot… The social worker helped the teams because there was not enough staff… Subsequently, she made sure to contact the families to offer them time by videoconference with the electronic tablets received in early April.

The social worker indicated that there are many things that she would like things to happen differently. She would prefer, for example, that residents be able to stay in their rooms with their personal belongings, so that stimulation procedures are supported and that they move in chairs more often.

I wish Madame Lermitte would keep listening Titanic as well as Disease of happiness daily, she said.

The invaluable help of family guardians

The first assistant to the beneficiary, who testified, explained that the presence of relatives who come to visit the residents is very welcome. Of course, family members help us she said because they take care of important things, such as feeding a person.

She clarified that when Sophie Reuney came to visit her mother, Mrs. Lermitte, it helped the attendants. The social worker confirmed that the help of the guardians is very important.

As a reminder, on March 14, visits to relatives at CHSLD Laflèche were completely banned, except for cases when it was allowed by a doctor for people at the end of their lives.

The social worker also confirmed that the team encouraged Ms. Reunis to visit her mother less often. It was for to facilitate adaptation Mrs. Lermitte and Mrs. Reunis, who went through a lot of emotion, a lot of insecurity, and a lot of criticism for caring about the way things were going. The connection was not always easy, she said.

Hungry for answers

A nurse who worked at CHSLD Laflèche from April to June 2020 decided to attend the hearing at the Chavinigan courthouse.

Like many, this person, who did not want to reveal his identity, hopes to get answers to his questions.

I think we were really in danger, and we were endangering the inhabitants, because it is true that we were considered to be something like unarmed soldiers sent to the front.

Quote from:Clinical Nurse

The clinician nurse, in particular, does not understand why he was denied access to the N95 mask when he requested it.

In collaboration with Amelie Desmare

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