A news report released by CBC Edmonton included interviews and a demonstration featuring a mannequin of how an ICU facility differs from other hospital wards. Some of the same footage within the training facility was later aired in another report about COVID-19 projections for Alberta.
Some online users shared an image of the news report and claimed that the use of the mannequin was proof that ICU facilities were not busy in Alberta, and that the pandemic was being overstated by the media.
Another individual who shared the photograph on Twitter said: “It’s called fraud but because it’s media they get a pass Look very closely.” The post received thousands of likes.
However, CBC Edmonton released an update on its website on October 11, clarifying that the segments of the report that featured a mannequin were not inside an active hospital ICU: “Some of the images in this video are from inside hospitals and as such are identified as being provided by [Alberta Health Service]. The other clinical footage, including video of mannequins in beds, was recorded by CBC Edmonton in September 2021 at training facilities at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and MacEwan University, where students learn using realistic hospital simulations.”
In a statement to Reuters, a CBC spokesperson said: “On October 1st and 2nd, CBC Edmonton ran two stories describing the realities of being in an ICU ward and the strain on nursing staff. Unable to bring our cameras into a hospital ICU ward, we shot footage at two training facilities which was then used for illustrative purposes. In the October 1 story, which was then posted to our website here. It was not clearly identified as training footage and it should have been. We have since clarified that.”
“Regrettably, some of this same footage was used again in a different story about COVID projections for Alberta that aired on October 7th during our 6 and 11 pm newscasts,” they added. “In this context, the footage was used inappropriately, even for illustrative purposes, and we apologize for the error in judgement."