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Lack of medicines: a via crucis to cure his son’s pneumonia

The painful relentlessness of a mother of two, which has gone viral on social media, has starkly exposed how much Quebec is struggling to care for its young children.

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“I never imagined it would be possible in Canada, in 2022,” explains the magazine Emer O’Toole, mother of two children, one and three years old.

The mom’s comments went viral on Twitter after she proceeded to detail every step she went through, first with her 3-year-old son and then with her 15-month-old son.

From drug shortages in pharmacies to endless waits in emergency rooms, Ms. O’Toole has tackled many aspects of the healthcare system.

“We know there are problems [avec le système de santé]but experiencing them is a completely different reality,” he added.

A powerful message

The publications in which the mother recounted the difficulties encountered have accumulated thousands of interactions.

Many parents showed their support while others said they were in the same situation. After spending hours waiting in three emergency rooms, an outpatient clinic and a CLSC, the young mother decided to tell the story of the week she had just lived in detail.

“It’s really important to talk about it because the current situation could have very serious consequences. […] I don’t understand how such a situation could happen in a society like ours,” complains Emer O’Toole.

Waiting in the emergency room

Ms. O’Toole mentioned al magazine She has always received excellent service from staff at Montreal Children’s Hospital, but on her most recent visit, the situation was very oppressive.

In a packed waiting room, all the chairs were taken, parents trying to make room for new patients arriving.

“There were announcements over the intercom to tell parents to stop asking for deadlines, that there were twenty hours of waiting for non-urgent cases,” he explains of the incident at the hospital where his family is used and where the nursing staff. he’s always been up to it.

Out of danger

Though the entire family is better, Emer O’Toole still dreads the rest of winter. As with many parents, COVID, the flu and the many viruses out there are of particular concern to her.

“I am terrified for my youngest son because he has asthma and this is his third attack since the beginning of the summer,” she added.

Its an arduous obstacle course

Half of November

Emer O’Toole’s eldest son comes home from kindergarten with a stomach ache and a fever. The mother goes to the pharmacy to get her hands on over-the-counter medicines for her 3-year-old son, to no avail. The pharmacist offers his pre-cut adult tablets which he will administer to his child by mixing them with mashed potatoes.

November 21st

This time, she will go to Montreal Children’s Hospital with her 15-month-old son. The asthmatic child suffers from high fever and breathing problems. In a crowded waiting room, he waits over an hour and a half before leaving. Son of him did not even get to the stage of registration.

The next day

Gets a place for the little girl at the CLSC where her family doctor practices. She is told that she has to go to the hospital to have her lungs x-rayed. Once we arrive at the Hôpital Jean-
Talon says check-in and triage happen very quickly, but then he waits five hours in a lazy waiting room. Exhausted, she leaves in the small hours.

November 24th

Find a place for an x-ray in a semi-private clinic. A doctor called her back the same day to tell her that she had to go to the hospital urgently.

In this third hospital.

He learns that his son has pneumonia and that he absolutely needs to start taking antibiotics.

Emer O’Toole visits a pharmacy to get his son’s prescription filled, but the prescribed drug is not currently available. He has to go to another pharmacy to finally find some pills.

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