Negligence led to death
Doctor reprimanded for not ensuring patient taking morphine was monitored
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.