A Vosges hospital suspends surgeries after suspicious deaths, what we know

The Remiremont hospital in the Vosges has suspended all surgical activities until October 11.

A Vosges hospital suspends surgeries after suspicious deaths, what we know

The Remiremont hospital in the Vosges has suspended all surgical activities until October 11. He is the target of several complaints for “intentional homicide” after deaths of patients considered suspicious.

A patient died at Remiremont hospital, in the Vosges, after undergoing surgery on October 3. This 78-year-old woman who underwent surgery for a bill caused by a fall is not the first to die in the hospital center after an intervention. The death would be linked to problems with care upon leaving the operating room, according to information from Vosges-Matin. The responsibility of the hospital, already targeted by around ten complaints for suspicious deaths or negligence, is once again called into question.

Is this death one too many? The hospital took action accordingly and announced in a press release published on October 4 the suspension of all surgeries, except those necessary urgently, until October 11: “Following the unexpected death of a patient at the Remiremont Hospital Center in surgery, and due to the general context in particular regarding complaints, it was decided, as a precautionary measure, to suspend all scheduled surgical activity. This represents 80 unprogrammed operations.

The Remiremont hospital center ensures that it has taken all the necessary measures after the unexpected death of their patient: the ARS du Grand Est was "immediately" informed and carried out "a serious adverse event declaration according to the regulatory alert procedure ". The ARS also indicated that the medical file of the deceased patient is “being analyzed”.

But more than this particular case, it is the organization of the establishment which must be inspected after the filing of 12 complaints, including at least eight for "voluntary homicide" after deaths considered suspicious by the victims' families. Two others were filed for “intentional injury” and the last two for “search for the cause of death” specifies Le Point.

An investigation was thus launched by the ARS to “analyze the situation and verify that all medical and surgical organizations are fully compliant with the rules of the establishment”. And the hospital has “decided to ask all surgeons to justify that the surgical protocols which are imposed are perfectly respected”, added the lawyer of the CHU at the microphone of BFMTV. Previous investigations, more precisely a “medical-administrative inspection responsible for examining” each case subject to complaint, had already been carried out by the ARS in January 2023.

The lack of doctors and the successive departures and replacements of staff members could be partly responsible for the negligence denounced by the complainants, according to investigations carried out by the research section of the judicial police (SRPJ) of Nancy which confirmed the existence of fault. To this shortage of caregivers, which requires greater recourse to temporary workers and which seems widespread in the Vosges department, is added financial difficulties and rivalry between the territory's health establishments reveals Le Point.

These defects were also mentioned in the 2017 report of the regional chamber of accounts on the Romarimontan hospital. Which explains that these shortcomings are “the consequence of a weak restructuring of the healthcare offering in the Vosges basin”. Problems linked to surgical activity were known to the authorities since the newspaper reports that the Remiremont hospital "has never been accredited by the High Authority of Health except with reservations or conditions, including during the last inspection, the conclusions of which were submitted in June". These conclusions raised “safety problems in the operating room and, above all, recurring poor keeping of patient records”.