Local news briefs

Winnipeg cancer patient given hospital roommate’s medication

Winnipegger Karl Kollinger has become the latest patient affected by one of the reported 2,000 medication mix-ups that have taken place at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre over the past two years.

Seventy-two-year-old Kollinger, who was recovering from a surgery to remove a section of his bowel and a large tumour, was heavily sedated at the time of the medication mistake, which was only discovered by his wife Marlene when she realized that the IV bag that her husband was being drugged from had the name of another patient on it.

Marlene then summoned a nurse. “I got kind of upset, and I said to her ‘How can this happen? Did you not check his [identification] bracelet?’ At this point, Karl put his hands up from underneath the blanket and said ‘I’ve got no bracelet,’” she stated in an interview with CBC News. “I said, ‘How could you not have a bracelet? How have they been administering—for two days—drugs to you without checking who you are?’”

Kollinger was supposed to have been receiving a drug to control his production of stomach acid. The drug mistakenly administered was an antibiotic. The Kollingers say that Karl’s surgeon has not indicated that any physical damage was done to him because of the mistake.

“We are very fortunate that Karl is sitting here today. The outcome could have been grave, and he could have been dead,” Marlene told CBC last Thursday.

Data collected by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority for Health Sciences Centre indicates that over the last three years, 14 critical incidents due to medication errors have been reported. Of the 14, 10 patients received serious injuries as a result and two died.

Hockey Winnipeg and Hockey Manitoba battle worsening rink violence

A new series of incidents revolving around the conduct of players and their parents in minor hockey have made their way into the papers, bringing to light the problems faced in creating a healthy and safe environment for fans, players, officials, and coaches.

Sunday, March 30 saw 18-year-old referee Scott Miskiewicz face an assault from members of the Lake Manitoba First Nation team. According to allegations, Miskiewicz was shoved to the ice and kicked by players wearing skates, before being the target of a (missed) slap shot by another player during a provincial bantam playoff game that took place in Stonewall.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the referees also faced a wave of verbal abuse from spectators throughout the game. Unable to regain control of the game, the referees had to end it prematurely, after which the RCMP were called to remove the Lake Manitoba team and their families from the rink.

A similar incident took place in February between Brokenhead and Sagkeeng First Nations, wherein coaches and players abused the referees as they tried to break up an on-ice fight. The ensuing melee resulted in a 12-year-old boy sustaining a broken arm.

Other incidents involving spectators have occurred, including one in which Jason Boyd, a Manitoba father, was videotaped heckling a 15-year-old player on the opposing team, calling him a “midget” and then threatening to “cave in” the glasses of the boy’s father when he confronted him.

Another involved a couple that received a three-year suspension from attending any of their eight-year-old son’s hockey games after their involvement in a fistfight that broke out in the opposing team’s dressing room. They are scheduled to appeal the decision on April 16.

Hockey Winnipeg executive director Monte Miller said in February that he is upset by the poor behaviour shown by hockey enthusiasts in cases like these.

“It’s very distressing, very, very distressing,” Miller said, referring to the Jason Boyd incident.

“We get very distraught when we hear about things like this. Something needs to be done.”

Food Matters Manitoba launches new campaign to promote healthy eating

Food Matters Manitoba has just launched a new program called the North End Healthy Eating (NEHE) project through their Our Food Our Health Our Culture organization’s North End site.

Aimed at promoting better nutrition, the project will utilize storefront signs that indicate which stores sell healthy food, and small shelf signs that promote healthy food choices in the stores.

Recipe cards that feature simple yet healthy meal ideas will also be distributed.

“Winnipeg’s North End has limited access to full-service grocery stores with healthy, fresh, and affordable food items, but many small-scale locally owned stores,” said Lissie Rappaport, North End site coordinator for Food Matters Manitoba, in a press release.

“Food Matters Manitoba has created the [NEHE] guide as a way to support healthy eating in this neighbourhood.”

The NEHE project officially launched on March 31.