NS health official says death of patient whose body was found outside hospital was 'preventable'

A senior health official says the death of a 79-year-old patient whose body was found outside the Cape Breton Regional Hospital this winter was ``preventable.''

Nova Scotia Health Authority CEO Janet Knox is offering no specifics about the incident, saying an internal review is still underway.

Cape Breton Regional Police say they have charged two nurses with forging the man's health records.

The unidentified man was found unresponsive on a Sydney sidewalk in the early morning hours of February 23rd.

Police, who were asked to investigate the circumstances by the Medical Examiner's Office, say they discovered documentation related to the patient's status had allegedly been forged.

Charged are registered nurse Tammy Carrigan-Warner and licensed practical nurse Valerie MacGillivary.

Both had their employment terminated by the health authority.

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia and the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia say they have launched a joint investigation into the nurses' professional conduct.