Niagara Hospital emergency room investigation into death of Indigenous woman | Breaking News | Today's Top Breaking News | Today's Top News

Ontario's coroner has opened an investigation into the death of a young Indigenous woman who died in a Niagara Region emergency room two and a half years ago.

Heather Winterstein collapsed at St. Catharines Hospital on Dec. 10, 2021, having entered the same emergency room the day before seeking treatment for severe back pain.

Her mother, Francine Shimizu, told St. Catharines city councillors last June that Winterstein went home Dec. 9 with painkillers and a sandwich but returned the next day with the pain still there.

A preliminary investigation showed that Winterstein, 24, died of necrotizing fasciitis, an infection that could have been prevented if properly treated.

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However, Shimizu said she waited nearly a year and a half to learn of Heather's death from Niagara Region, the province's Ministry of Health and the Ontario Coroner's Office.

“I want to grieve for my daughter, who is so beautiful and special to me, but I can’t grieve without clear answers, in most cases,” Shimizu told the committee.

“I don't understand why it has taken so long for the conclusion of the investigation and the report on what happened to my daughter to come out.”

The Ministry of Health did reveal it is investigating the matter, but has not yet shared any information with the deceased's family or Ontario's chief coroner.

An independent panel commissioned by Niagara Health, which manages St. Catharine's Hospital, Last summer suggested Because Winterstein is Indigenous, her care may have been “compromised.”

The review was led by Dr. Eric Letovsky of Trillium Health Partners, who acknowledged it was difficult to be sure because so few frontline workers were involved.

“However, there are concerns that unconscious bias may have played a role in her care as she was labelled as a drug user and homeless person,” the panel concluded.

Ten recommendations for improvement include increasing staff “cultural awareness” and working with Indigenous communities to create a safer, more welcoming environment.

The date and location of the inquest have not been announced, but the coroner's office said it will investigate the circumstances of Winterstein's death.

উৎস লিঙ্ক

এছাড়াও পড়ুন  ইন্টারপোল আন্তর্জাতিক সাইবার জালিয়াতির বিরুদ্ধে ক্র্যাকডাউনে প্রায় 4,000 জনকে গ্রেপ্তার করেছে