Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)

Kelowna hospital patient claims he was discharged too early due to COVID-19

Interior Health stated it follows a clinical process to review patients who are medically ready for discharge

A former Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) patient said he felt like he’d been abandoned by the people he thought would help him recover.

Kelowna resident James Chapman was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 19, after he injured both of his wrists.

Chapman suffers from a sleep behaviour disorder, where he physically acts out vivid dreams —which was how he injured himself. He was a patient at KGH for about a month after surgery, receiving occupational therapy to help regain the use of his hands.

“I wasn’t even at the stage of receiving physical therapy when I was discharged or as I like to say, evicted,” Chapman said.

“Yes, I was an able patient compared to some of the people in therapy at that point, but there were very many things I couldn’t do. I lost functionality in two fingers on my left hand that I’m still slowly getting back.”

He said they were still sorting out medication and planning to do a sleep study when he was told he had to leave the hospital in a few hours.

Interior Health arranged for Chapman to get into short-term accommodation while he recovered, as his family was in quarantine when he was discharged and he couldn’t go home.

He believed he was asked to leave the hospital to make way for possible patients with COVID-19, however Interior Health responded that it follows a clinical process to review patients who are medically ready for discharge.

“Collaboration and support with community and long-term care partners have helped increase efficiency in getting patients safely home under the ‘home is best’ philosophy,” Interior Health communications said.

“Discharge planning at KGH starts on the day of admission, including the patient and their family and caregivers, in efforts to smoothly transition patients back to their homes. The planning includes functional considerations such as housing, assistance required with activities of daily living, mobility, equipment needs, bath assistance and medication assistance, for example.”

Interior Health added patients are then assessed, given extra support and care they need at home.

Chapman said there were everyday things he needed help with, such as showering and getting access to medication and food, but the health authority had no one for him.

He said he felt like they dropped the ball in caring for current patients as they prepared for an influx of potential incoming patients.

“They were preparing the hospital for a situation that had yet to happen and I think they could’ve been a bit more sensitive. There could’ve been a bit more care involved.”

READ MORE: IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 case total up by 45 after Easter weekend


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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