Healthy and General

Baby in respiratory distress dies after being transferred

2 min read

The coroner’s office is investigating after an eight-month-old baby in respiratory distress died after she was transferred from the Montreal General Hospital.

Police brought the baby to the hospital after officers were the first to arrive on the scene Wednesday morning after receiving a 911 call.

“When the police officer arrived on the scene, they noticed that the baby, unfortunately, wasn’t breathing, and that information was transferred to a call centre,” said Chantal Comeau, a spokesperson for Urgences-Santé. “Right away, our response plan was adjusted.”

Urgences-Santé says that based on information from the person who called 911, the response only merited a level three priority – a 20 to 29-minute response time.

But when police relayed the seriousness of the infant’s distress, that priority was elevated, and police decided not to wait for paramedics.

“First responders were there within about two, three minutes. When they got there, the police officer had already left for the hospital with the baby,” said Comeau.

At the hospital, teams of doctors, nurses and respiratory specialists worked on her for around 30 minutes, said MUHC associated director of communications Andrea Paine.

“As soon as the baby arrived at the hospital, a whole team of professionals started working on the patient right away,” said Paine. “Whoever was on hand at the time started working on the baby.”

Then doctors made the decision to transfer her to a pediatric facility. She died en route.

Paine said there were details the hospital could not release due to patient confidentiality.

“Since the decision is related to the child’s medical case, no further information or details can be disclosed in order to preserve the confidentiality of the patient and out of respect for the family,” a statement from the hospital read. 

Note: A previous version of this article suggested that the baby was turned away by the Montreal General Hospital. The hospital later clarified that nurses and doctors made every attempt to save the baby’s life before transferring the baby to the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The current article reflects that information.