Ninety-one-year-old woman dies after waiting seven hours for Montreal ambulance

·1 min read

Montreal paramedics say staff shortages are to blame after an ambulance took seven hours to respond over the weekend to a call involving a 91-year-old woman who died before they arrived.

Urgences-santé spokesman Stéphane Smith says the service received a call about a woman who fell and hurt her leg, adding that the call was categorized as Priority 4 — which is not considered urgent.

He says the woman's condition was re-evaluated every hour and did not change, but he says by the time paramedics arrived Sunday morning, she was dead.

TVA has reported that the woman was named Thérèse Pardiac and that she had heart problems. The broadcaster quoted Pardiac's daughter-in-law, who said the 911 call was for a possible hip fracture and the 91-year-old was suffering while waiting for the ambulance.

Smith says weekend nights in the summer are particularly difficult for paramedics due to the high volume of calls, adding that almost half the positions for paramedics in the city are unfilled.

He says Urgences-santé is expecting another 16 paramedics to join the service soon, but he adds it's "never enough."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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