On April 7, 2015, a Lakes District Maintenance (LDM) employee located a male in the ditch on Hwy. 16 near Six Mile Hill, approximately 40 km west of Burns Lake.
Realizing that the male – who was lying supine with his hands on his chest – was unresponsive, the LDM employee immediately notified emergency services. The RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Services were dispatched to the scene and determined that the male was deceased.
Last week the B.C. Coroners Service released the identity of the deceased male – Calvin Edward Madam, 30, of Smithers.
According to the coroner’s report, Madam died of natural causes due to complications of alcohol withdrawal. The RCMP have ruled out any foul play.
The investigation revealed that on April 2, 2015, Madam was admitted to a Northern Health Adult Withdrawal Management Unit. He told staff that he was experiencing a difficult time sleeping the evening of April 3, 2015 and was experiencing tremors, agitation and hallucinations. He also had a history of seizures.
On April 4, 2015, Madam left the unit.
After the Prince George RCMP were notified, Madam was located and taken to the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia’s (UHNBC) emergency department. Emergency room staff assessed Madam as ‘coherent.’ There is no documentation of the interaction with the staff at the triage, or at what time he left.
Madam was reported missing to the Prince George RCMP on April 5, 2015.
He was seen in the early hours on April 5, 2015 on Hwy. 16, approximately 13 km west of Burns Lake. The RCMP, a search and rescue team and Madam’s family then initiated a search along Hwy. 16 until he was located on April 7.
Northern Health is aware of Madam’s death and has indicated that the Patient Care Quality Review Board – created in 2008 to establish a transparent approach to managing patient care quality complaints in B.C. – has completed a review.
After the review, changes were implemented for patients not psychiatrically stable at UHNBC, requiring staff to contact the on-call physician who will decided care options for that patient, including directing admission to the hospital. A form also was created for patients who need to be assessed in the UHNBC’s emergency room. Emergency room staff have completed a training and the form has been implemented.