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  • Writer's pictureAvis Favaro

Man dies after suffering cardiac arrest while waiting in ER, widow wants investigation

“We offer our condolences to the family and encourage them to reach out directly to our Patient Relations team," said Brandon Douglas, Vice-President of Clinical Services at St. Mary's General Hospital.

Lisbeth Lippert tells CTV News she wants an investigation to shed light on her husband's death while in hospital in 2023. (Avis Favaro / CTV News)

When an ambulance took David Lippert to the hospital in March of 2023, the 68-year-old Kitchener, Ont., executive was hoping to find out why he was feeling weak and unable to walk.

Some 24 hours later, he was found unresponsive by hospital staff in the ER, having vomited blood in the emergency room, while on a list to be admitted. Medical records show he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was later pronounced dead.

His widow, Lisbeth Lippert, is hoping for an investigation into the incident that could lead to improvements in the state of ER care for others.

"I just wanted him to be in a place where I thought he was safe,” she told CTV. "It’s just his worst nightmare to die in the ER."

Lisbeth says the ER was chaotic when she stayed with her husband on the first day. He was placed near the nurse's station where she says she heard them taking calls from other staff calling in sick. It was clear, she said, that they were understaffed and overwhelmed with patients who were waiting for care and lining the ER hallways.

"They were running around like crazy. I don't know how you would even maintain that as your career for any length of time," Lisbeth said, adding she saw the nurses and orderlies doing their best.


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