Krystal Mousseau’s family suing Manitoba government following death
The family of a woman who died during the COVID-19 pandemic is suing the Manitoba government and health agencies, alleging that health care cuts and improper medical decisions contributed to Crystal Musso’s death.
Musso died on May 25, 2021, after an aborted attempt to transfer Brandon from the intensive care unit to an Ottawa hospital. Manitoba sent dozens of intensive care patients to other provinces that spring because of bed shortages as COVID-19 cases rose and hospitals struggled to cope with the influx of patients.
Musso’s mother, Elaine Musso, claims the government and Shared Health, the provincial body that coordinates multiple health services, have failed to provide adequate care.
“The government and Shared Health deprived Crystal of her right to safety of life and person by creating and implementing a critical health care scheme that needlessly caused or contributed to her death,” according to the lawsuit filed this week by Elaine Musso’s attorneys. In the King’s Court.
The statement contains allegations that have not been proven in court.
Prime Minister Heather Stephenson, Asked about the incident during questioning on Thursday, he said his heart went out to the family, but he could not comment.
“We will respect the process and refrain from further comment as it is before the courts,” Stefansson said.
Shared Health, Manitoba Justice and Prairie Mountain Health, the regional authority for western Manitoba, also expressed sympathy and said they could not comment on the court case.
There was no immediate response Keewatin Air, a private company that the lawsuit says transported Krystal Mousseau and other patients.
Crystal Muso he was in intensive care at a Brandon hospital with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and died after being taken by ambulance to a waiting plane to take him to Ottawa.
A letter from the regional health authority to the family, which was released soon after, said the transport team did not have equipment to continuously monitor Musso’s blood pressure, so a blood pressure cuff was used instead. Musso was also given the wrong amount of at least one medication, the letter said.
The lawsuit also claims the Progressive Conservative government ignored warnings in 2019 when it privatized some air ambulance services.
“Several critical care and transport physicians warned the government at the time that a plan to privatize air ambulance services would lead to preventable deaths,” the lawsuit said.
The government also created a scenario where hospitals could not deal with the influx of patients when it cut the number of critical care beds in 2019, the lawsuit said.
Other allegations in the lawsuit include that Shared Health did not have a plan for the expected increase in the number of critically ill patients during the pandemic and that Keewatin Air failed to hire workers with the necessary medical training, skills and experience. The lawsuit also alleges that hospital staff allowed Musso to leave while he was in an unstable condition and in grave danger.
Chief Medical Officer of Manitoba declined to call an inquest into Musso’s death and said the manner and cause of death were known.
The lawsuit alleges that Musso exhibited high blood pressure and an unexpectedly elevated heart rate.
He went into cardiac arrest while in the ambulance, was sent back to the hospital, suffered another cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure before being pronounced dead the next day, the document said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 9, 2023
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