“Did COVID rules kill my son?”: Father explains delayed CT scan that potentially led to teen's death

No parent wants to outlive their child, and the pain from having to do so is even more agonizing if the parent believes that their child’s death could have been avoided.

Today I’m sharing an interview I had with a grieving father from Saskatchewan who has been struggling with the recent loss of his son.

On August 15, 19 year old Aaron Ogden passed away. Aaron’s father, Mark Ogden, has started asking an important question regarding his son's death: would his son still be alive today if it wasn’t for COVID-19 restrictions?

Aaron’s official cause of death was from a blood clot. His father feels that Aaron may still be alive if his son’s CT scan scheduled at Yorkton hospital in Saskatchewan had not been cancelled, allegedly due to COVID-19 related concerns.

The CT scan was supposed to take place in June but was cancelled, even though on June 20 Saskatchewan.ca reported that there were only three hospitalized coronavirus patients in the the entire province.

Back in April, CBC reported that an estimated nearly 100,000 patients across Canada have had their surgical procedures delayed due to COVID-19

I reached out to Saskatchewan Health Authority to get a better understanding on what type pf COVID-19 delays or rules may have been a factor in Aaron's situation, and here is how Doug Dahl, the communications officer responded:

The Saskatchewan Health Authority extends our sincere condolences to the friends and family of this young man, and have been made aware of this tragic situation, as have our operational leaders.

We are not able to provide any further details about a specific patient’s personal health information. As in any situation where there may have been concerns with the quality of care provided, the SHA starts a review process to determine what may have occurred. Operational leaders have reached out to this family as part of this review process. 

Emergency and urgent patients are the priority for services, including diagnostic imaging. The determination of the priority is based on the evaluation of the referring physician in consultation with the patient. The SHA is working to address the backlog of examinations that were deferred during the initial months of the pandemic. 

If a patient has a concern about their wait time, we encourage them to contact the referring physician to ensure the appropriate prioritization of their requested exam. Patients can also contact the Client Representative/Concerns Office with concerns about delays in scheduling diagnostic imaging exams.

Losing a child is every parents worst nightmare. Watch above and listen to Mark Ogden explain the circumstances of Aaron’s death, and what led him to to question if COVID-19 restrictions were responsible.

Since we have been well warned by health officials that we may see a second wave of COVID-19 this Fall, do you believe elective surgeries should be cancelled just in case our hospitals become overwhelmed?