News | DrumhellerMail - Page #19
Last updateThu, 21 Sep 2023 8am

Two Hanna healthcare workers reprimanded following disciplinary hearing

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Two healthcare workers accused of improperly documenting and failing to provide adequate care to a woman at the Hanna Health Centre in December 2020 have each been ordered to take additional courses and write a Behaviour Improvement Plan in a decision by the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA).
It is alleged both healthcare workers, on multiple occasions throughout the patient’s hospital stay between the late evening of Christmas Day 2020 and early morning of Boxing Day 2020, failed to adequately assess the patient and make appropriate documentation.
The patient, 40-year-old Lillian Vanasse, who was of Ojibwe descent, was brought to the Hanna Health Centre emergency room by ambulance in the late evening of December 25, 2020. An initial assessment, which included an echocardiogram (ECG), was performed, and she was later taken to the hospital’s x-ray room by a lab technician for further testing.
While in the x-ray room, one of the healthcare workers, Holly Conners, acknowledged she had entered the x-ray room and found Ms. Vanasse “leaning on a counter” and then shortly afterwards “lying down on the floor” and expressing she was unable to stand; Ms. Conners also acknowledged she had failed to document Ms. Vanasse’s “dramatic change in circumstance” as outlined in Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines and standard practices.
Ms. Vanasse was transferred to a smaller patient room as per COVID-19 protocols in place at the time. Any persons entering the room were to don personal protective equipment, which was to be removed upon exiting.
Paper was not permitted within the patient treatment room due to the COVID protocols, and a whiteboard instead was used to record treatment information, which was to be later transcribed into the patient’s chart.
Shortly after being transferred into this room, Ms. Vanasse became unresponsive at approximately 1 a.m., and resuscitation attempts were made in a “collaborative and team effort” between the two healthcare workers and an attending physician until Ms. Vanasse was pronounced deceased at 2:57 a.m. on December 26, 2020.
The tribunal acknowledged the incident took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a “high-stress situation” due to ongoing protocols and short staffing at the rural hospital; the tribunal also noted documentation of Ms. Vanasse’s care “needed to be complete.”
It was acknowledged there was over an hour in which Ms. Vanasse’s cardiac rhythm was not documented during resuscitation efforts; these are meant to be checked and documented every two minute CPR cycle, and it was confirmed by the physician on duty that these were checked every two minutes.
The Mail had previously reported in March 2023 the hearings had been closed to the public. At the time the reason for the closure was not made public, however, in the published decision document it was noted the closure was made due to concerns for public safety and security due to the small population of Hanna, and social media posts and comments made by Ms. Vanasse’s widower, who is the complainant, which “expressed animus, threats, and punitive actions'' against the two healthcare workers.
While the tribunal “considered (the complainant’s) valid comment, in one of his postings, that this matter needed to be heard transparently and openly for the benefit of the public,” it also considered the potential risk to the two healthcare workers.
Based on evidence and submissions from legal counsel for the two healthcare workers, the tribunal ordered Ms. Conners to complete a Documentation in Nursing and Nursing Process Self Study course and write a 1,500 word self-improvement plan, both to be completed by December 1 of this year; the other healthcare worker, Marcia Campbell, was also ordered to complete the Documentation in Nursing course along with writing a 1,500 word self-improvement plan by December 1, 2023.
These conditions will be placed on both practice permits and will be removed once complied with.

Land and Property Rights Tribunal overturn Wheatland County abattoir denial

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Alberta’s Land and Property Rights Tribunal has overturned a decision made by the Wheatland County Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) on May 9 of this year to deny a development permit application for an abattoir, or slaughterhouse, located north of Highway 564 and approximately 14 kilometres north of the Town of Strathmore.
Wheatland County MPC had previously denied the application for the abattoir due to a number of concerns, which included increased traffic to the facility, increased odour, and an outpouring of opposition from area residents.
“Administration did get a cost estimate for this (if council wishes to proceed with anything further), and it would range between $25,000 to $35,000 just to prepare the documentation to have it heard for the potential if council were to challenge the decision of the LRPT,” explained Wheatland County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Brian Henderson during the meeting.
He noted, if council did choose to appeal the decision and it was successful, the county would be on the line for an additional $50,000 to $60,000.
The applicant for the abattoir had appealed the MPC’s decision, taking it to the LRPT.
According to the Government of Alberta’s website, the LRPT acts as a “quasi-judicial tribunal that makes decisions about land use, planning, development,” among other duties; it is similar to other quasi-judicial boards such as the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and the Surface Rights Board (SRB).
A hearing was held at the end of June where the tribunal made the decision to approve the application and issue the development permit for the abattoir.
Deputy Reeve Scott Klassen noted, since this decision, he has received “an abundance of phone calls” from residents within the division who had questioned what Wheatland County council could do given the LRPT decision. He expressed his disappointment with the process, and the MPC’s decision to deny the application was not “made lightly.”
Division 4 Councillor Tom Ikert added, unlike LRPT, area council members “have skin in the game,” and are the ones ratepayers will reach out to, or vote out, when or if any issues arise.
Council accepted the LRPT decision as information and elected to not pursue any further appeal.

Assessment underway for Aquaplex repairs


The indoor pool at the Drumheller Aquaplex has been closed to the public since July 10 when it was discovered there was evidence of a leak within the mechanical room.
Further investigation into this has revealed several concerns, including a void which has developed beneath the floor of the mechanical room which has also resulted in excess strain on the piping located within this area.
Drumheller Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Drohomerski tells the Mail, the Aquaplex was scheduled to be closed over the month of September for regular maintenance and upgrades, including installation of an air handling unit and relocation of a door due to encroaching flood mitigation work. The discovery of this leak has meant a slightly earlier closure.
During the regular Monday, August 14 council meeting, CAO Drohomerski provided council with a status update on repairs, explaining Knibb Construction is carrying out an initial phase to determine the extent of the void space and damages under the mechanical room floor. This has required removal of concrete flooring.
Mr. Drohomerski noted a pipe for the hot tub, which was not indicated on any blueprints or drawings, was struck during the cutting of a portion of flooring; this has resulted in the early closure of the hot tub as well. While he acknowledges this has been disappointing for Drumheller residents, he notes both the indoor pool, hot tub, and steam room would be closed to the public in September, regardless of these issues.
Once phase one explorations are completed by Knibb, work will be taken to replace affected piping and to fill the void space.
This is estimated to take a minimum of three weeks to complete, though a full timeline will not be available until the inspection is carried out and the extent of the damage determined.
If these repairs can be completed within the estimated timeline, CAO Drohomerski is hopeful the indoor pool will reopen after its regular maintenance, in October.
During this time, the outdoor pool will remain open. Provided overnight temperatures do not get lower than five degrees Celsius, it is hoped the outdoor pool will remain open until the last week of September.


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