Neg­li­gence led to death

Doc­tor rep­ri­manded for not en­sur­ing pa­tient tak­ing mor­phine was mon­i­tored

Montreal Gazette - - Montreal|Quebec -

A Montreal emer­gency room doc­tor has been handed a for­mal rep­ri­mand in con­nec­tion with the death of a well­known tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity un­der his care.

In a 14-page de­ci­sion made pub­lic yes­ter­day by the Col­lège des médecins du Québec, a dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee found that Dr. Bruno Blais failed to en­sure that Paul Buis­son, 42, was prop­erly mon­i­tored af­ter he was ad­mit­ted to St. Eus­tache Hospi­tal on April 18, 2005.

Buis­son, host of the pop­u­lar Hors-Jeu sports show on the RDS net­work, was ad­mit­ted with back pain and given a mor­phine-based painkiller, which a coroner later de­ter­mined caused him to go into res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure. He could not be re­sus­ci­tated.

The dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion, writ­ten in French, states that Blais “ne­glected to write, dur­ing the pe­riod when the pa­tient was un­der ob­ser­va­tion, ad­e­quate in­struc­tions to as­sure that (Buis­son) was prop­erly mon­i­tored.”

The doc­u­ment also sug­gests that be­cause Buis­son was obese and had Gravol in his sys­tem, he was at a higher risk for res­pi­ra­tory com­pli­ca­tions, and should have been watched even more closely. Ac­cord­ing to hospi­tal records, Blais is­sued only one or­der for Buis­son’s vi­tal signs to be checked af­ter eight hours.

Blais, who still works in the St. Eus­tache emer­gency depart­ment, will now have a for­mal rep­ri­mand placed in his file – a penalty which the com­mit­tee called “fair, and ap­pro­pri­ate.” The doc­u­ment also states that “noth­ing sug­gests (Blais) acted out of lax­ness or non­cha­lance.”

In the wake of Buis­son’s death, Que­bec coroner Jac­ques Ram­say rec­om­mended that hos­pi­tals across the prov­ince es­tab­lish stricter sur­veil­lance poli­cies for pa­tients who have been given painkiller­s.

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