Family of woman who died at N.S. ER suing N.S. Health, physician

The family of a 37-year-old woman who died on December 31, 2022 after waiting hours for treatment at the Cumberland Regional Medical Center in Amherst, New South Wales, is seeking answers to her death. I’m suing state health officials. .

In a news release, law firm Valent Legal said a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Alison Holtoff’s husband and children.

According to the law firm, the lawsuit alleges that Nova Scotia Health was negligent in failing to meet standards in conducting timely and adequate testing.

The lawsuit also names the responsible emergency room doctor as a defendant.

“The loss suffered by Alison’s family was unimaginable and could have been entirely avoided if reasonable attention had been paid to an apparently life-threatening situation.

“I hope this lawsuit does two things. First, it acknowledges the failure and resulting harm to this young family, and second, it confirms that Alison’s death was not in vain.” We hope that public action draws attention to a seemingly systemic failure and encourages decision makers to take steps to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again in our state.”

CTV News reached out to Nova Scotia Health for comment. “Nova Scotia Health does not comment on legal action,” an agency spokesperson said in an email late Wednesday afternoon.

Holtoff arrived at the Cumberland Community Health Center just before noon on New Year’s Eve. Her husband said she was in excruciating pain and that at times she would even scream that she was dying, but she waited hours to see a doctor. I was.

By the time she was taken to a room and had a CT scan that showed internal bleeding, it was too late, her husband says.

About 12 hours after she arrived at the hospital, the mother of three children died.

MLA Requests External Investigation

In a news release on Wednesday, Cumberland North MLA’s Elizabeth Smith McCrosin said she would also like to see an external investigation into the death.

Nova Scotia Health is now conducting its own internal investigation, but Smith-McCrossin said health officials have indicated to the family that full details will not be shared.

“It is unfortunate that Ali’s family will have to use the courts as a vehicle for answers and accountability. Myself and Ali’s family strongly feel the need for an independent inquiry into Ali’s death.” Smith-Macrocin said.

On February 10th, Nova Scotia Health announced that the same hospital’s renovated emergency department will not open on its original February 14th date.

No new date has been given for the reopening of the renovated ER, which had been closed since May 2022 due to flooding.

“Having a significant part of the hospital run in a temporary space for a long period of time is very disturbing. Staff are disgruntled and patients are frustrated,” said Smith-Mcrosin. increase.

“At the end of the day, the public expects and deserves access to a permanent emergency department, and Nova Scotia Health must take responsibility.”

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