As the pandemic struck a Quebec nursing home last year, officials made it harder to send ailing residents to hospital and repeatedly provided morphine rather than treat those with breathing problems, a coroner’s inquest heard Wednesday.
A nurse testified that the Sainte-Dorothée long-term care facility consistently administered morphine instead of attempting to prolong the life of elderly residents who were believed to have COVID-19.
Ms. Morin was an assistant chief nurse at Sainte-Dorothée, an LTC home north of Montreal where more than 100 residents died during the first wave of the pandemic last year.
She was alluding to a medical assessment tool where morphine, the sedative Ativan and scopolamine, an anti-nausea drug, are administered if a resident’s breathing troubles meet a number of criteria.
“It was like, they have respiratory distress, ‘Okay, we put them on the protocol.’ Morphine, scopolamine, Ativan,” Ms. Morin said.