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P.E.I. stroke survivor says it took 5 months to get diagnosed



STRATFORD, P.E.I. — James Clements was sipping his morning espresso on a cool morning in January of 2022 when he abruptly felt a pointy ache behind his head.

“I used to be sitting on the eating room desk, and I knew there was one thing occurring,” the 84-year-old Stratford resident informed SaltWire in an interview at his house on April 21. “The left aspect of my face was sliding down. My steadiness went.”

Clements mentioned he drove himself to the emergency room on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown the place he was examined shortly by a doctor.

Clements was recognized with Bell’s palsy, a situation that causes sudden weak spot within the muscle mass on one aspect of the face. Generally, the weak spot is short-term and considerably improves over weeks.

“Once I acquired house, I ended up having to make use of a walker however, regularly, my steadiness began coming again, though not fully,” he mentioned.

The doctor on the QEH prompt Clements’ household physician ship him for an MRI.

MRI outcomes

It’s what occurred subsequent that each angers and worries the Stratford man.

Clements’ household physician did ship him to get an MRI, however the means of being despatched for the take a look at, having the take a look at and getting the outcomes again took 5 months, mentioned Clements. After they did come again, the Stratford senior was informed he’d had a stroke.

“I don’t know that I used to be essentially stunned,” Clements mentioned. “The stroke has left me with some steadiness points. It could have affected my skill to transmit indicators from my mind to a few of my muscle mass. I can’t play golf now.”

Clements mentioned regardless of the actual fact he was not stunned by the prognosis, he’s upset with how lengthy he needed to wait to search out out.

Gaylene MacPherson, the director of diagnostic imaging for Well being P.E.I., informed SaltWire on April 24, mentioned the coverage for anybody who has an MRI is that outcomes are despatched again to the physician who ordered the take a look at not more than 72 hours after the take a look at.

MacPherson mentioned there’s a scarcity in every single place within the health-care system, however Islanders typically obtain well timed entry to diagnostic testing when they’re ordered.

MacPherson added that the wait time for an MRI in P.E.I. is faster than in most provinces in Canada

“We run a superb service and I’m assured in our service,” MacPherson mentioned in a phone interview.

Jim Clements of Stratford said a stroke he suffered last year left him with some weakness on his left side and balance issues. Clements said it also took him five months after the initial visit to the emergency room at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown to get the diagnosis. - Dave Stewart/SaltWire
Jim Clements of Stratford mentioned a stroke he suffered final yr left him with some weak spot on his left aspect and steadiness points. Clements mentioned it additionally took him 5 months after the preliminary go to to the emergency room on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown to get the prognosis. – Dave Stewart/SaltWire


Clements mentioned a lot of the wait was seeing a specialist earlier than the MRI. After he had the MRI, he estimated it took one other month for the specialist to name him again to debate the outcomes.

“My concern was the general interval from the arrival of ache in my head till I acquired the outcomes of the MRI and discovered I’d had a stroke. I don’t know of how lengthy it took to learn MRI outcomes and I actually don’t care.

“I personally consider the actual perpetrator is the requirement of obligating household physicians to refer their sufferers to specialists which devalues household physicians and burdens specialists.”

Clements mentioned he feels the wait between preliminary visits with a health care provider in conditions like his and when the affected person will get the outcomes again contributes to doctor frustration and doctor turnover.

Do you know?

What’s the wait time to have an MRI scan?

Emergency sufferers – fast; pressing sufferers – 10 days; semi-urgent sufferers – 41 days; non-urgent (or routine) sufferers – 185 days.

What are the wait time targets for MRI checks?

Emergency sufferers – inside 48 hours; pressing sufferers – inside 14 days; semi-urgent sufferers – inside 28 days; non-urgent (or routine) sufferers – 84 days.

How is the wait time measured?

From the date the MRI request is acquired till the date the MRI is carried out.

What influences a wait time?

Components embrace demand for service, assets, sufferers’ request or cancellation of an MRI scan, trip day off and holidays.

(Supply: Well being P.E.I.)

Dave Stewart is the well being reporter for SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He might be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DveStewart

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