Correctional Service Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Recommendations Of The Coroner's Inquest Into The Death Of Robert Gentles

Warning This Web page has been archived on the Web.

30. It is recommended that training be provided in how to determine whether or not an inmate is "playing possum" or is in medical distress.


Currently, a designated number of CSC staff are qualified and re-certified in First Aid and CPR. The number of designated qualified staff ensures coverage on each shift. First Aid and CPR allows staff to assess indicators of medical distress. In the event of such distress, the first line response includes the immediate call to a qualified medical practitioner. The determination of whether medical distress is occurring or whether an offender is "playing possum" is then made by the qualified medical practitioner.

The Correctional Training Program (CTP 2000), does include a module on Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome (SICDS) whereby recruits who are already pre-qualified in First Aid and CPR learn more about the situations that may contribute to "excited delirium" and "positional asphyxia" which both form part of SICDS.