Quebec nursing home failed to treat COVID-19 patients, gave morphine instead: inquest testimony

DM

A Quebec nurse testified Wednesday that the Sainte-Dorothée long-term care facility administered morphine to elderly residents rather than attempt to prolong the lives of those with suspected COVID-19. “They didn’t all die but most did,” said Sylvie Morin, the former assistant chief nurse at Sainte-Dorothée, a long-term care facility where over 100 residents perished during the pandemic’s first wave in 2020. The Globe and Mail report that officials made it harder to treat residents and to send them to the hospital, according to a coroner’s inquest. Staff put residents on the “respiratory-distress protocol” to ease breathing troubles that unintentionally put them to death. Morin clarified that the protocol is not what kills the person but makes them more comfortable. “But with COVID, it was going so fast, I had never seen deaths happen so quickly,” she said: “The person had symptoms, we tested, and we got the results 24-48 hours later. A day later, they were dead. It wasn’t long.” Resident Anna José Maquet, a 94-year-old, died suddenly at the facility last year and was “feeling fine” on the evening of April 2, according to her children.

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