More than two years after the unexpected passing of 19-year-old Aidan Pratt, the BC Coroners Service has released its findings of its investigation into his death.
In a report released on Jan. 3, the investigation determined the cause of his death to be exsanguination (severe loss of blood) due to a perforated intestinal ulcer.
It classified his death as natural and made no recommendations.
The Western News previously reported in 2018 that Pratt’s family was still seeking answers in relation to his death. At the time, it was thought he may have died from meningitis.
The coroner’s report said that on Oct. 12, 2017, emergency personnel were summoned to a residence in Oliver where they found Pratt deceased. His cause of death at the time was unclear.
In December 2017, Interior Health declared an outbreak of meningococcal disease. At the time, 11 cases had been reported in 2017.
This resulted in IH offering meningococcal disease immunization clinics throughout the Okanagan for youth in Grades 9 to 12 as well as those aged 15 to 19 who do not attend school.
Two-and-a-half years later, Pratt’s father Lee said the coroner’s report surfaced unexpectedly, and that he was under the impression he would have it for 10 days before it was released to the media.
Pratt said he is not ready to comment further at this time.
According to the report, Aiden had been complaining of abdominal pain for some time prior to his death. In the past few days he had felt particularly unwell, was nauseous and had been vomiting.
Upon investigating, the Coroners Service learned that Aidan had gone to the South Okanagan General Hospital on the morning of September 21, complaining of abdominal pain. Medical records showed he waited from 9:20 a.m. until 11:13 a.m. at which point he was told there was an emergency and the physician would not be available for three hours.
Interior Health confirmed the admitting nurse was called to assist with an emergency. When his name was called, Pratt was no longer in the waiting room and the discharge time was recorded at 12:05 p.m.
According to the Coroners Service, Aidan was triaged appropriately and communicated with, in a comprehensive and timely manner.
“It should be noted that it is not unusual to have to wait for this period in emergency rooms across B.C. and Canada as a whole,” said Coroner Margaret Janzen in the report.
Aiden was seen by his family physician on Sept. 27 for epigastric tenderness and was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, explains the report.
He was prescribed pantoprazole and told to return in a month.
“From the records reviewed there was nothing discussed in this consultation that would have drawn a red flag and suggested the catastrophic outcome that subsequently occurred,” said Janzen.
A review of Aidan’s medical profile did not show that the prescription had been filled. Pantoprazole is a medication that is used to prevent and treat upper gastrointestinal erosions and frank bleeding.
“Had the decedent taken pantoprazole when it was prescribed, this may have led to a different outcome,” said Janzen.
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