An internal investigation into the deaths of two patients who were sent home from hospital by taxi found that staff at Winnipeg's Grace Hospital did nothing wrong.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, which conducted the investigation, said it found no problems with the decisions to discharge the patients.
Both male patients died just before reaching their front doors. The CEO of the health authority, Arlene Wilgosh, said both men had underlying medical conditions that caused their deaths.
"If you have an underlying condition that could predispose you to sudden death, you can't predict when that is going to happen," she said Thursday. "The medical assessments were deemed appropriate. These gentlemen were deemed competent. The discharges were deemed appropriate."
The two incidents took place within days of each other less than two months ago. Both patients who were discharged died before making it inside their homes in frigid temperatures.
David Silver, 78, was found dead on his doorstep - wearing slippers and pyjamas under his coat -- after he was sent home from Grace Hospital in the middle of the night. His death was attributed to a heart condition.
Wayne Miller, 62, was found lying on a sidewalk after his discharge.
In light of the deaths, the health authority said it will draw up a discharge checklist to make sure patients are safely delivered home. The authority said it will also create a new taxi voucher for vulnerable patients and give cab drivers specific instructions.
The cab voucher program is expected to be in place by early March, but Wilgosh said the onus won't be solely on taxi drivers to ensure patient safety.
"I don't think that we are going to turn the taxicab drivers into medical professionals," Wilgosh said. "We will be expecting that the health care system has done the appropriate assessment of the patient."
David Silver's family members said they don't question the doctors' medical assessment, but wish that staff could have kept him at the hospital overnight.
"Him being his age, it would have been probably better (if they waited) until morning," said Silver's cousin Jack Lichtman.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg and files from The Canadian Press