July 30, 2020 11h27
Death of a young paramedic in Lévis: a preventable death
The death of the young paramedic Hugo St-Onge, 24 years, in December 2017 was one death possibly preventable, concludes the coroner’s Me Julie Langlois, which recommends, in particular, to add numbers to the paramedics on the territory of Lévis. The young man in cardio-respiratory arrest waited for the ambulance for 21 minutes.
“For me, it is clear that the lack of effective ambulance has played an important role in the record of Mr. St-Onge,” says the coroner Langlois, after having analyzed the case. He who saved lives, was not able to be saved…”
On December 27, 2017, shortly after being put to bed, Hugo St-Onge begins to have convulsions. His breath becomes irregular and choppy. His girlfriend immediately contact the emergency services. It is 00h31. The young woman finds out during the call that her lover stops breathing. She began cpr.
First responders, firefighters, arrive at the residence of Saint-Jean-Chrysostome at 00h48 and take over. The paramedics, from de Bellechasse, will be on-site at 00h52, 21 minutes after the 911 call.
Cpr continued in the ambulance until the CHUL. Still in respiratory arrest, the young man will be intubated. His death is recorded in 2 hours.
In April 2016, Hugo St-Onge has presented symptoms of syncope. He underwent an electrocardiogram.
The doctors found a small heart murmur, and a slight dysfunction of a heart valve which does not close completely.
He saw a cardiologist in December 2016. A follow-up appointment was scheduled in 2019. We reassure him by recommending to always be well hydrated.
According to his relatives, the young ambulance has never had any other symptoms prior to the night of his death.
On December 27, 2017, as every night in this period, only three ambulances covered the territory lévisien. They were all already occupied, either at the hospital or en route to the Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis.
Since march 2018, the equivalent of a single ambulance has been added by the ministry of Health. Is this enough? “To ask the question is to answer it,” says the coroner Langlois.
More details to come…