The health care workers, an army decimated

Les travailleurs de la santé, une armée décimée

Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
Infected by the coronavirus, a resident of the Residence Floralies in LaSalle, is transported to the hospital.

Isabelle Paré and

Marie-Eve Cousineau

April 16, 2020

  • Health

The reinforcements in a CHSLD, promised each day by the prime minister, do not arrive, report health professionals, out of breath. In some institutions, the COVID-19 has taken away so many patients that the staff demands the aid of the Red Cross and even a commission of inquiry.

“The guardian angels are exhausted. They will return to the sky ! “At the end of the wire, Dr. Dominique Langevin is exhausted and indignant. She worked non-stop since the 31st of march. The findings of death are increasing. “The reinforcements do not arrive “, said the doctor who works at CHSLD Nazaire-Piché, located in Lachine.

Its facility, which houses 100 residents, is in a critical situation, according to the list established by the government of Quebec. To date, 19 patients have died there of the COVID-19, according to the CIUSSS of the West-of-the-Island-of-Montreal. And 32 other patients with the disease.

“Monday, during the day, we had 6 employees at the place of 16, 2 auxiliary nurses instead of 4 and a nurse, instead of 2,” says Dr. Dominique Langevin.

The doctor demands the aid of the Red Cross and the army. “They are going to form cohorts of dedicated people to our institution,” she said. Currently, we send people to the account-drop. It is the dusting. It is more work for the people who receive this world. It must be the guide. “

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Dr. Langevin notes that the staff of the CHSLD Nazaire-Piché, who are continually making overtime, are of “great miracles” on a daily basis with ” virtually nothing “. “The families are so understanding,” said the doctor. The son of a patient [who has worked in the field of health] told me : “don’t Worry for my mother. I know that you deal with it well. Take care of the staff”. “

To support the CHSLD and the other of the CIUSSS of the West-Island of Montreal, the hospital of Lasalle was opened on Tuesday evening, a unit of COVID-19 for patients long-term, ” says Dr. Julie Choquet.

“We could accommodate a dozen patients, said the gp, who works at the hospital in Lasalle. There may be people coming from NURSING homes with, for example, need end of life care. “

The CHSLD Laflèche, in Shawinigan, it is the hecatomb. More than 20% of residents (30 out of 137) there are who have died since march. No less than 68 % of the residents still living (73 of 108) are infected. Approximately 60 % (71) of the approximately 120 employees have contracted the disease. And this, despite the protective equipment provided by the employer, highlights the local union.

Fear and anger

The broken voice, Pascal Bastarache, president of the local branch of the union SPPSAM-CSN, was scrambling Wednesday to contain his anger. It calls for the holding of a commission of inquiry to shed light on the crisis management in this establishment.

“Employees cry, have fear. They are angry that the government is completely disconnected and continues to justify the unjustifiable. It’s going to take how many of the dead and of employees infected more ? “, took one that represents approximately 5700 employees paratechnique and ancillary services in the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec.

On Wednesday, one of the two clerks to the beneficiaries of the CHSLD Laflèche, who ended up in intensive care in a critical state, has issued a heartbreaking appeal for help after having emerged from an induced coma.

The dashboard on the evolution of the coronavirus in Quebec and in Canada

“I just want that it doesn’t happen to anybody what I saw […] I’ve given everything and now I’m not even able to do 10 not,” says Élianne, from his hospital bed, in a short message to be communicated to the Duty by his union representative.

His colleague is always plunged in an induced coma in the intensive care unit.

“This employee [Élianne] is demolished, she has been sent into combat without adequate protection, deplores Mr. Bastarache. She suffered from asthma, but she was still asked to return to work. “

At the risk of the staff

After having seen colleagues infected despite wearing surgical masks, gloves and gowns, the union claims that its members at the bedside of the sick have access to N95 masks, offering increased protection.

“We are trying to avoid a shortage in hospitals, but it is currently risking lives in NURSING homes,” insisted Pascal Bastarache. The spokesperson of the FSSS-CSN Hubert Forcier believes that the conditions in the NURSING homes have become similar to those of many hospitals.

“It heals the sick on the spot. In the same context, the employees of the clinical COVID hospitals would have a mask N95 “, ton-t-he.


This is the number of persons who have died since the month of march on the 137 residents at the NURSING Site in Shawinigan.

This demand for protective equipment has been deemed not necessary by the CIUSSS of the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec (MCQ).

Contacted Wednesday, the information officer of the CIUSSS-MCQ, Guillaume Cliche, noted that the region continued to apply the guidelines prescribed by the public health Directorate (DSP) on the wearing of a mask, N95.

“The work of the employees does not ensure that particles are thrown into the air. For all those who are less than two meters, the people have access to surgical masks and gloves. We rely on the experts of the DSP. When there is no intubation or ventilator, it is not necessary. “

In spite of everything, the number of employees infected continues to increase. Why ? “At the beginning, the DSP said that the employees exposed, but asymptomatic, could work. We have seen that it was a mistake, due to our lack of knowledge about the virus. Are we gonna repeat the same mistake ? “says Pascal Bastarache.

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