Tag Archives: ‘Suits’

Canadian flight crews demand protective suits as more than a dozen fall ill with COVID-19

More than a dozen Canadian flight attendants are sick with COVID-19, with one recently released from an intensive care unit in Calgary, CBC News has learned.

Many airline crews remain on the job as international and domestic flights continue to take thousands of Canadians home during the global pandemic.

But flight crews and their unions are becoming increasingly vocal in demanding better protective equipment, including protective suits or gowns, and mandatory testing for COVID-19.

“I’ve asked several times, ‘Why are we not wearing hazmat suits?’ Other airlines are wearing hazmat suits,” a flight attendant who works for a major Canadian airline told CBC News.

“We are on the front line and we are exposed to people from all around the world. We have connections from all over the world.”

CBC News agreed not to publish her name or that of her employer, as she is not authorized to speak publicly.

Ukraine International Airlines uses suits and goggles to protect flight crews. (Supplied by a flight attendant)

Protective suits and goggles are now required equipment for crew on Ukraine International Airlines, a measure of how far some in the airline industry are going to protect workers during the global emergency.

Canada’s airlines are now required to provide gloves, masks, wipes and sanitizer to employees. Wearing the gear is optional, except when handling food. 

Illness in Canada

Air Transat says four of its flight attendants and one pilot are sick with coronavirus, while WestJet confirms seven employees across the entire company have tested positive, but declined to say how many of those are front-line flight crews.

Air Canada, which has a much larger workforce and operates the most flights, declined to say whether any of its employees had tested positive.

However, sources tell CBC News that a number of Air Canada employees are ill, with clusters in Western Canada and Calgary, where at least one employee had been hospitalized.

In the U.S., a 65-year-old American Airlines flight attendant died of COVID-19 this week, highlighting the risks flight crews face while helping to get passengers home.

Call for protective gowns

Crews on Canadian airlines remain in close quarters in the sky and find it impossible to keep the standard two-metre distance that health officials recommend for the general public.

While regular meal services have been shut down, flight staff still come into close contact with passengers.

“They’re walking by me as they’re boarding the plane. Definitely isn’t a six-foot distance,” the flight attendant told CBC News.

Air Canada’s main flight attendant union says some of the supplies being provided don’t fit properly and that it is time crews be provided with full-length protective gowns.

Wesley Lesosky, president of the Air Canada component of CUPE, says crew members currently do not have the proper personal protective equipment to wear while flying with passengers during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Zoom/CBC)

“We need the equipment; we need it yesterday,” said Wesley Lesosky, president of the Air Canada component of CUPE.

“We don’t have properly fitted N95 masks, we don’t have properly fitted gloves and we don’t have things such as disposable long-sleeve isolation gowns that should be made available to our crews.”

He said the union looked into the feasibility of hazmat suits but concluded disposable gowns would be easier for crews in tight quarters and pose less risk for contamination and spreading the virus.

In a statement, Air Canada told CBC News the crisis is an “evolving situation” and that as the understanding of COVID-19 increases, the company expects to take additional measures.

But the union is calling on the federal government to move quickly.

“It has to be government intervention to say enough is enough. We need to ensure these people are properly protected. The airlines are trying their best, but obviously it’s not good enough,” Lesosky said.

WestJet says seven of its employees have COVID-19. Air Transat says four of its flight attendants and one pilot are sick. Air Canada declined to say when asked by CBC News. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) declined to say whether it would mandate protective suits.

“PHAC has provided guidance on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and for disinfection and sanitation practices for airlines,” a spokesperson said in an email.

‘This is what I do’

Numerous flight attendants have told CBC News and are sharing messages with each other on social media that they are proud to be helping during the global health emergency but feel helpless to protect themselves.

The unnamed flight attendant quoted in this story recalled a recent repatriation flight where passengers clapped when the plane landed in Canada and thanked the crew for its efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.

Canada’s airlines are now required to offer crews gloves, masks, wipes and hand sanitizer. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

“One man, I’ll never forget his face. He … looked right at me and he said, ‘You’re my hero!'” she recalled. “I got emotional. I started to cry under my mask.”

Such moments make her realize the importance of the role she and her colleagues are playing in getting Canadians home, she said.

“People keep saying, ‘Stay safe. You’re crazy for doing this.’ And I say, ‘Well, no, I have to do this. This is what I do. I’m lucky to have a job.'”

Send tips to dave.seglins@cbc.ca

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CBC | Health News

As fewer patients sue their doctor, the rate of winning malpractice suits is dropping too

In the fall of 2016, Jim Wiseman was in the hospital to have his bladder removed as part of his cancer treatment.

“I know that I had no choice; if I didn’t have it removed, I’d die of cancer,” recalled Jim Wiseman, 78, at his home in Innisfil, Ont.

Everything, he was told, went according to plan. But just days later, while still recovering at the hospital, he developed unexpected pains in his stomach.

The doctor on duty ordered X-rays that revealed a clear problem.

“He came back and showed me … a picture of a sponge that was left inside of me,” Wiseman said.

A subsequent surgery was needed to remove it. Wiseman’s anticipated week-long stay turned into 27 days, when he saw swelling in his stomach, testicles, legs and feet.

“I was in real bad shape. I went through hell in that hospital, I mean, total hell,” Wiseman said.

‘That never should have happened’

Nearly three years later, Wiseman remains just as angry about the experience, and is suing the hospital, his care team, and the doctor who performed the first surgery.

“[The doctor] is responsible for that sponge to be in me — that never should have happened,” he said.

But when patients like Wiseman try to sue their doctor, a CBC investigation shows the rate of success is very low.

CBC News obtained every annual report filed by the Canadian Medical Protective Association, which provides liability coverage and legal support to physicians, dating back to 1901.

An analysis of the past 40 years shows that as the number of doctors increased, the rate of patients suing has dropped. For the cases that do make their way to court, the number of patients who have won has also gone down.

In the late 1970s, roughly one in three cases that went to trial was decided in favour of the patient. In the past five years, that figure has dipped closer to one in five.

Paul Harte once sat across the table, defending doctors accused of medical malpractice. Now he spends his days on the other side, defending the patients seeking compensation.

“Fewer and fewer people are opting to sue doctors,” said Harte. “And that comes back to the obstacles to getting access to our court system … and fewer lawyers who are prepared to take on a well-financed defendants.”

The CMPA’s vast financial resources allow them to mount an aggressive defence that few patients have the means to compete with, he said, and that many lawyers are hesitant to take on small cases because they know how costly it can be to go up against a doctor in court.

Most … medical malpractice lawyers would not really look at a case that’s worth less than $ 250,000,” Harte said.

Paul Harte is a defence lawyer who represents patients harmed by their doctors. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Most doctors in Canada pay annual fees to the CMPA.

The associate executive director of the association, Dr. Douglas Bell, says he believes fewer patients are winning in court for a different reason.

“We only take [cases] to trial when we’re quite confident that we have a defence for the physician. And that would explain why we have a high success rate,” he said.

There’s no question the CMPA has significant resources to support doctors in a legal fight. The association’s most recent annual report from 2017 shows the CMPA holds $ 4.5 billion in assets.

But for patients who find it difficult to fund their own cases, many may be surprised to learn they are also indirectly funding the doctors’ legal expenses.

Provinces pay much of the fees

A significant share roughly 75 per cent of the CMPA’s funding comes from taxpayers through the provinces and territories.

Doctors pay an annual fee to the association. But in a deal reached with the provinces in the late 1980s to address spiking malpractice fees, it was agreed that the doctors’ portion of the fees would be roughly capped, and the remainder instead paid from provincial coffers.

Today, doctors initially pay the fee out of pocket and are then reimbursed a set sum that varies from province to province. In some provinces or territories, it can amount to 100 per cent of the fee.

“The reality is across Canada, hundreds of millions of dollars are going to the CMPA from public taxpayer funds,” said Harte.

When asked how much each province has been paying out in CMPA fees, Canada’s provincial health ministries provided numbers that show more than $ 1.8 billion has been paid out in the past four years.

The CMPA maintains that because it is fully funded by doctors, the money shouldn’t be viewed as a direct taxpayer subsidy to the association, even if doctors are ultimately reimbursed for those fees by the provinces.

None of that sits well with Saundra Kacho.

In the fall of 2012, Kacho went to a pain clinic in Toronto for problems with her back.

An anesthesiologist gave her an injection in her spine to help manage pain. But Kacho contracted a serious infection — meningitis — that landed her in the hospital.

“I thought I had done something wrong. I thought it was my fault,” the 74-year-old said. “And I remember feeling very, very guilty for the longest time. That I never should’ve gone there, that I should’ve just put up with the pain.”

Kacho later learned she was one of several people unwittingly made sick by the doctor, who had an untreated staph infection.

“I said ‘how could that be?’ Like, at first, I couldn’t even talk, I was just shocked.”

Saundra Kacho contracted meningitis after getting treatment at a pain clinic in Toronto. Her legal battle for compensation has dragged on for the past seven years. (CBC)

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario investigated and revoked the doctor’s licence for 10 months. It noted that “he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct.”

Even so, Kacho’s legal battle for compensation has dragged on for the past seven years.

“When a doctor does make a mistake, when a doctor does put a patient in harm’s way … I don’t know why you have to take years to deal with that,” she said. “I just I cannot understand that.”

She also says she was frustrated to learn that her tax dollars have indirectly supported the doctor in her legal battle against him.

“We pay for the lawyers that we’re going to hire to help us get justice, and we’re paying their lawyers to make it more difficult for us to have that happen,” said Kacho.

“Seems a little bit backwards,” she said. “It seems like a broken system that — that part of it at least — needs to be repaired.”

Harte, who is also Kacho’s lawyer, said he believes the CMPA’s deep pockets allow it to drag out cases for years, causing many frustrated patients to give up.

The data obtained by CBC shows that as many as half of all lawsuits launched by patients are dropped before they get to court.

“It is in the CMPA’s best interest to drag out some of these cases because it acts as a deterrent for suing other doctors,” Harte said.

Dr. Douglas Bell is the associate executive director of the Canadian Medical Protective Association, which provides liability coverage and legal support to physicians. (Christian Patry/CBC)

Bell disputes that. He said the CMPA puts “considerable effort in trying to streamline the management of our cases” in order to have them end as soon as possible.

“It really is a benefit to all involved that cases are handled expeditiously,” he said.

“The Canadian Medical Protective Association is not going to advance an unethical defence. We will only defend the defensible,” Bell added.

Jim Wiseman isn’t sure he believes that, and said he wonders why his suit has dragged on, given there’s no dispute a sponge was accidentally left inside him.

Two years, five months, and it’s a game,” he said.

After CBC News outlined the details of Wiseman’s experience, Bell said that while he could not discuss specifics of the case, the slow pace of the legal proceedings should warrant a closer look.

“In a case where a sponge is left behind, clearly someone is responsible,” said Bell. “The Canadian Medical Protective Association would view this case as a ‘never event,’ so clearly there is compensation required.”

But at 78, Wiseman is worried that his compensation might come too late.

“I’m sure they’re probably thinking maybe I’ll drop dead and they won’t have to worry anymore. That’s an awful thing to say — but that’s the feeling I am coming to.

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CBC | Health News

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski Rock Matching Suits at the Writers Guild Awards

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski Rock Matching Suits at the Writers Guild Awards | Entertainment Tonight

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'Bachelor' Star Colton Underwood Sports an Array of Floral and Plaid Suits, Sans Shirts!

The Bachelor’s brand-new leading man Colton Underwood is teasing some skin in a new racy photo shoot!

In the sizzling images, the 26-year-old tries on a myriad of different suits, including a bright purple and vivid floral design. Of course, the new TV star keeps things interesting by opting to go shirtless underneath.

Eventually, Underwood and his different suits make their way to the beach where he naturally strips down! So, if you haven’t caught a glimpse of the latest Bachelor’s impressive physique quite yet, now is a good time. These images were actually taken last year, before he appeared on the ABC show. 

On Tuesday, ET’s Lauren Zima sat down with Underwood to talk about how he approached finding that special someone, always with his virginity in the back of his mind.

Colton Underwood

Erik Johnson/Splash News

Colton Underwood

Erik Johnson/Splash News

“It’s just a lot of things that go into it. It’s not a simple answer,” he explained about why he hasn’t had sex quite yet. “People ask me the question and they expect this, ‘Boom, this is why,’ and I can’t give them that, because that’s not how it is… That’s just the facts.”

“While a lot of people make light — and including myself — of my virginity, there is a deeper level to that that not a lot of people know, and I haven’t spoken about it publicly at all,” he continued. “I think in that moment with Caelynn, we had a safe space with each other to share things that we haven’t really talked a lot about. And it’ll give people a little more insight not only to who I am, but who she is, and to how our relationship was.”

Colton Underwood

Erik Johnson/Splash News

As dedicated fans know, he revealed that he is a virgin while on Becca Kufrin’s season of the hit show. Since then, it’s been a heated point of conversation among viewers. During Monday’s premiere, the former football player revealed that he’s ready to finally lose his virginity.

Underwood also spoke with ET about next episode’s promo clip which shows him jumping a fence and abandoning the show — at least momentarily.

I was gone for a while. In that moment, and the feelings I was feeling, I left the show,” he said. “I needed time to myself… In the moment I was gone. There was no Bachelor.” 

There’s no denying that Underwood’s abstinence (and absence) are going to be heated topics of conversation as the show’s Bachelorette’s vy for his attention — and his roses.

Get more breaking news down below.


Chris Harrison Says the 'Bachelor' Women See Colton's Virginity as a 'Trophy' (Exclusive)

'Bachelor' Alum Blake Horstmann Says Colton Underwood Is 'Smitten' With Final Pick (Exclusive)

Why 'Bachelor' Colton Underwood Needed a 'Safe Space' to Open Up 'Deeper' About His Virginity (Exclusive)

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Suits’ Star Patrick J. Adams Says His Wife Loves To See Him 'Get Weird' In 'Dark' Web Series

In real life, actor Patrick J. Adams is happily married to Pretty Little Liars star, Troian Bellisario. On the hit USA series, Suits, Adams’ character Mike is set to marry longtime love Rachel (played by Prince Harry’s girlfriend, Meghan Markle). In Adam’s latest role, however, he is tackling a much different lifestyle: a bachelor.

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