As New Brunswick’s provincial health care system experiences top-down turmoil, many of the province’s residents remain unhappy with their level of care—and one motorcyclist’s story has NBers wondering what their fate will be, if they require careful medical care.
In a much-publicized story from the last week of July, a Fredericton-area man ended up being sent home from a local hospital with a broken neck and sternum from a motorcycle crash, after receiving only six hours of treatment, his family says. John Grandy was riding his recently-purchased motorcycle on a local highway when he lost control on gravel and hit the median barrier. He ended up in hospital, injured. Here’s what happened, next, according to CBC:
Paramedics took him to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital around 8 p.m., where he was treated for a broken C7 vertebra in his neck, a broken sternum, a broken nose, a split tongue and broken teeth.
Grandy (Taylor Grandy, his wife—Ed.) said she rushed to the hospital fearing the worst.
When she got there, a nurse warned her of the severity of Barnet’s injuries before wheeling him back into the emergency room on a stretcher following his CT scan.
“He was in so much pain. So much pain. He said, ‘Taylor, I think my back’s broken,’ and it was just a mess.”
Grandy said once the results of the CT scan confirmed the broken vertebra in his neck, staff started giving her instructions for maintaining the brace her husband had around his neck.
Then without explanation, they informed the couple Barnet would be discharged from the hospital later that evening.
“They wanted to sit him up in the bed … to kind of get him up moving, and they were like, ‘You can go home tonight.’ …
Grandy said she called Barnet’s sister at around 1 a.m. to help get him up and out of the hospital. After a 90-minute struggle to move him without hurting him, they had him loaded into the family minivan with their five children and were on their way back to their home in Fredericton.
Staff sent Barnet home with a few Tylenol tablets, prescriptions for naproxen and morphine, and a referral to a neurosurgeon in Saint John, Grandy said.
Later in the write-up, Grandy told CBC “The doctor did tell me that if he moves a certain way or if he takes the [brace] off or anything like that, he could be paralyzed.”
Spinal injuries and broken sternum are bad enough, but most Canadian motorcyclists would assume hospital care would be somewhat more intensive than a handout of pills and a ride home in the grocery-getter.
What’s the hospital’s response? The article goes on:
In a statement to CBC News, Horizon Health Network said Barnet’s discharge wasn’t related to bed availability or staff shortages.
“This patient was medically discharged from our ED after the physician completed their assessment using clinical judgment and consulting with peers,” wrote Margaret Melanson, Horizon’s interim president and CEO.
All we can say in response to that is: Stay safe out there, especially if you’re riding in New Brunswick.
At time of publication, CMG has reached out to Taylor Grandy for further comment, with no reply yet.