Patients hospitalized in a marquee outside the Verdun hospital in Montreal arrive soggy for their medical examinations. Nothing protects them from the rain during their transfer between the annex and the building, denounces an employee.
“It’s not between two doors! They have time to get wet to the bone ”, indignant Amélie (fictitious name), who works with these patients and who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
Since April, around twenty patients have been treated in a temporary annex which was erected about 75 meters from the main building of the Verdun hospital, on the other side of Boulevard Gaétan-Laberge.
They occupy individual rooms there for a brief hospitalization or while awaiting the result of a test for COVID-19.
The problem arises when patients have to undergo a test and cross the 75 meters – more than the length of an Olympic swimming pool – in hospital gowns, rain or shine, explains Amélie.
The sometimes heavy showers of the last few days and the cold which sets in make their journeys particularly difficult at the end of October.
The caregiver gives as an example the case of a 96-year-old woman who was transferred from the annex in a wheelchair in the pouring rain and who could not help but burst into tears when she arrived in the dry.
“She was wet from head to toe and didn’t even have a blanket. If it was my mother, I would fail, ”she says.
The Center-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal Integrated University Health and Social Services Center recognizes that some patients may have been soaked while traveling between the marquee and the hospital.
“Once maybe with a strong diagonal rain … It can happen in exceptional circumstances, but it is not in our way of doing things”, affirmed Éric Forest, adviser to media relations.
He said staff are trying to find cold weather windows for transfers, and blankets and umbrellas are provided where needed.
In any case, the marquee built in the midst of a health crisis will be dismantled in the first weeks of November before being replaced by a new modular building, which will be equipped with a footbridge overlooking Boulevard Gaétan-Laberge.