Toronto parents ‘extremely frustrated’ by 11-hour ER wait at SickKids over toddler’s allergic reaction

Vanessa and Janicije Karic’s son had a severe allergic reaction to eggs. But while they took their six-month-old son to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, they didn’t see a doctor until about 11 hours later.

“It was scary. It was scary because we didn’t know how bad it could be. We didn’t know if he had anaphylaxis or not because it was the first time he was eating solid food,” Vanessa Karic told CTV News Toronto’s Sean Leathong in an interview.

They arrived at SickKids around 8:30 pm on January 25 and said they were told the wait time would be approximately four hours.

But as they sat in the waiting room, the Karics said the time was continually increasing hour by hour, and they monitored it through an online app. They saw the wait time double to eight hours and eventually reach more than 11 hours as the waiting room filled with parents and their children.

“Parents lose patience, parents cry, parents get angry,” the boy’s father said. “It’s frustrating, very frustrating.”

“We are really angry”

The Karics finally saw a doctor for their son Lucius on Friday morning, around 8am.

“The first thing he said was: ‘I’m so sorry. I started my shift at 4 in the morning and there are around 58, 60 patients here and I’m alone,” she recalled.

In a statement provided to CTV News Toronto, SickKids said unexpected increases in patient volume can increase wait times “for patients with less serious complaints or concerns,” adding that its department staffing model Emergencies is designed to coincide with planned patient arrivals (made using data and analytics).

“We also employ a backup system to manage staffing if team members are unable to work or if there is an unexpected increase in patient volume, ensuring that a minimum staffing level is always maintained,” it reads. part of the statement.

The Karics, although upset by the hours-long wait, say they are speaking to express their frustrations against the province.

“Not with the nurses, not with the doctors, not with SickKids, just with our government,” said Janicije Karic.

“We are really angry with our government.”

A Ministry of Health spokesperson responded to CTV News Toronto’s inquiry about what the province is doing to address wait times and how it is expanding pediatric care.

“While Ontario leads the country with some of the shortest wait times in Canada, we know more needs to be done,” the emailed statement read.

The ministry adds that it has included an additional $44 million to address wait times in emergency departments this fiscal year and $330 million in permanent funding for pediatric care across Ontario, including SickKids, to increase capacity and hire more health care workers. .

However, earlier this month, several Ontario hospitals warned of longer wait times and higher-than-usual patient numbers in their emergency departments, and advised patients to consider alternatives to the emergency room if His condition is not urgent.

He Canadian Medical Association said emergency rooms are overflowing across the country and urged provincial governments to step up their efforts to address this crisis, particularly with access to high-quality, team-based primary care.


READ MORE: 20-hour waits: Canadian doctors group reports emergency rooms are overflowing

As for Lucius Karic, he was sent home with an EpiPen and will meet with an allergist.

“[We’re] very disappointed, extremely frustrated. I think if anything, we’re both very angry,” Vanessa Karic said.


With files from Sean Leathong of CTV News Toronto and The Canadian Press

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