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Family friend of Edmonton woman who died of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca vaccine says she was turned away from hospital – Edmonton Journal

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A family friend of an Edmonton woman who died of a rare blood clot condition linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine says she was turned away from a city hospital.

Lisa Stonehouse, 52, died at the University of Alberta Hospital just after 5 a.m. on Monday following complications due to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Stonehouse is Alberta’s second case of VITT and her death is the first related to the condition in the province.

Wilf Lowenberg, a friend, said Stonehouse received the AstraZeneca vaccine on April 21.

“She had the normal symptoms, headaches, that they associate with the vaccine, but it never went away and it steadily progressed to be worse,” he said.

A week later, on April 28, Stonehouse called Health Link and spoke to a nurse who told her it sounded like she had normal symptoms, but to contact a doctor if it doesn’t get better, Lowenberg said. But her symptoms worsened and on April 29 she went to Grey Nuns Hospital.

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He said Stonehouse came out five to 10 minutes later and said she was told she had normal symptoms and was turned away.

In a statement Covenant Health said they offer their condolences to Stonehouse’s family and loved ones.

“Covenant Health, in collaboration with Alberta Health Services, is actively investigating all circumstances surrounding her visit to the emergency department, and have assured the family we are looking into their concerns.”

By April 30, Lowenberg said Stonehouse was “basically bedridden” and she was taken to the Strathcona Hospital in Sherwood Park.

“They immediately admitted her, ran a CT scan on her and found a blood clot, with a brain bleed,” he said.

Stonehouse was then transported to the University of Alberta Hospital but, on the way there, she suffered a seizure.

“By the time she got to the U of A hospital, they did another CT scan, and there was nothing more they could do,” Lowenberg said. “They ran further tests and everything else but it was obvious that Lisa had lost brain function, and there was no coming back from it.”

On Monday, Stonehouse was taken off life support.

Rare condition

Late Tuesday night, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced a woman in her 50s had died, and her death was linked to VITT.

“While any death is tragic, it is important to remember that the risks of dying or suffering other severe outcomes from COVID-19 remain far greater than the risk following AstraZeneca vaccine,” Hinshaw said in a statement.

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She said the global frequency of VITT is estimated to be at approximately one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses. Approximately 255,800 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered to date in Alberta.

“In comparison, Albertans 50 to 59 who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are 350 times more likely to die from that infection than to experience VITT after an AstraZeneca vaccine,” Hinshaw said.

Individuals are also 1,500 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than experiencing VITT after receiving AstraZeneca.

Dr. Curtis Johnston, the deputy zone medical director for the Edmonton Zone, said symptoms of blood clots may be persistent with severe headaches, blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, swelling, redness or a limb going cold or pale.

If an individual is concerned, Johnston said they should seek medical attention, either through an emergency department or family physician.

“Health-care providers are very aware of these types of side effects, particularly these rare blood clots,” Johnston said.

“It would be front of mind, if anyone presented to the hospital with one of these symptoms and said ‘I recently had a vaccination or I was recently immunized for COVID.’ They would be very aware of what these symptoms are and the potential concern associated with that.”

The symptoms of a blood clot can also be caused by many other things, which is why Johnston said it’s important to seek medical attention. If an individual is concerned about any symptoms, he said to make sure the medical professional is aware exactly of what they’re worried about.

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“They would have the ability to assess and do the proper tests to determine whether or not this is a real risk for you or not,” he said.

‘Dedicated her life’

Stonehouse’s daughter Jordan Stonehouse, 19, is now without both parents. Her father died two years ago.

Without that parental support, Lowenberg wanted to ensure Stonehouse had something to fall back on. He launched a GoFundMe with a goal of $25,000. It has now surpassed $46,000.

“I just wanted to make sure that she had money to pay the bills, keep a roof over her head and food on the table until such time as we could get the estate sorted out,” Lowenberg said. “In dealing with the estate, there’s also a lot of other expenses. So I just wanted to make sure that her future wouldn’t be ruined by this very tragic event.”

Lowenberg said Stonehouse dedicated her life to her daughter and he loved watching her be a mother.

“Her whole plan was to take Jordan around the world, and that’s all honestly why she got the vaccine,” he said. “She said as soon as the restriction ease they were getting on a plane and going somewhere.”

ajunker@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JunkerAnna

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General Motors to boost spending on electric vehicles 30%, add two new battery plants

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General Motors Co will boost global spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion through 2025, a 30% jump over its most recent forecast as it pursues EV leadership, people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

As part of that spending, the No. 1 U.S. automaker will build two additional U.S. battery plants and move ahead some of its EV investments, said the sources, who asked not to be identified. In November, GM upped its spending plans from $20 billion, a figure that was announced in March before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the auto industry.

The Detroit company declined to comment.

The expected announcement of increased spending by GM comes less than a month after rival Ford Motor Co upped its EV spending by more than a third to over $30 billion by 2030.

The combined $65 billion in commitments by the largest U.S. automakers, as well as increased spending by EV leader Tesla Inc and startups including Lucid and Rivian reflect the EV arms race that has left some automakers like Lordstown Motors Corp scrambling to raise more funds.

In addition, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other key Democrats to discuss EVs and vehicle emissions, the sources said.

Barra will also meet U.S. Representative Richard Neal, head of the tax policy Ways and Means Committee, Frank Pallone, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, and two key Michigan Democrats: Representatives Dan Kildee and Debbie Dingell, the sources said.

WOOING WASHINGTON

Working with Washington is critical as President Joe Biden has proposed $174 billion to boost EVs and charging as part of his infrastructure plan, including $100 billion in new EV rebates. GM’s ability to benefit from the current $7,500 federal EV tax credit has expired.

GM has sparred with Democrats over vehicle emissions rules, but last week said it supported overall emissions reductions in California’s 2019 deal with other major automakers. It has also sought more flexibility to hit carbon reduction target between now and 2026.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that GM planned to announce two new U.S. battery plants, citing comments by President Mark Reuss. GM confirmed the executive’s comments, but sources said the company has not decided where in the United States to build the plants, which are each expected to cost more than $2 billion.

In January, GM said it was setting a goal to sell all its new cars, SUVs and light pickup trucks with zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, a dramatic shift away from gasoline and diesel engines.

GM and its South Korean joint-venture partner, LG Energy Solution, are already building a battery plant in northeastern Ohio and have announced a second, $2.3 billion battery plant will be located in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

GM confirmed in November it would speed up the rollout of new EVs, with plans to offer 30 models globally by 2025, up from a prior target of 20 by 2023. Barra said the automaker wants to exceed annual sales of 1 million EVs in the United States and China by 2025.

On May 26, a Senate committee advanced legislation that would boost tax credits to as much as $12,500 for EVs assembled by union workers in the United States. The current maximum tax credit is $7,500.

The bill also includes a 30% tax credit for manufacturers to retool or build new facilities to produce advanced energy technologies including batteries. That would represent a big boost to GM’s battery factory plans.

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Pre-owned business jet shortage drives sellers’ market, demand for new luxury planes

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A shortage of newer-model business jets is driving up prices of second-hand aircraft, a trend that is expected to deliver a windfall for luxury planemakers as new affluent buyers enter the market.

After a turbulent 2020 due to COVID-19, the rush toward private transport is so marked that some buyers are snapping up second-hand planes before fully inspecting the wares as the market shifts toward sellers, lawyers and brokers said.

That is expected to push up demand for new jets from planemakers like General Dynamics Corp‘s Gulfstream, Textron Inc and Bombardier Inc since buyers have fewer pre-owned options, and the price gap between old and new narrows.

“There are virtually no young pre-owned aircraft available – good news for would-be sellers and for (planemakers),” said aviation analyst Rolland Vincent.

He recalled one trucking company’s recent search for a pre-owned Gulfstream jet: “There was one aircraft in the world that fit their requirements.”

Traffic from business jets, which carry roughly a handful to 19 travelers, has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in the United States, the world’s largest market for private aviation, according to FlightAware data.

“On the pre-owned side, inventory appears to be fairly low, and that’s always a benefit to new aircraft sales,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president worldwide sales, Gulfstream.

“We are seeing strong interest across the board from first-time buyers and high net worth individuals as well as corporate customers with a desire to grow their fleets.”

Textron in April raised its full-year profit forecast, propelled by a rebound in business jet demand.

The trend could encourage some planemakers to increase production rates, although any ramp-up would hinge on supply chain capabilities, Vincent said.

Planemakers do not disclose total number of orders.

Preowned aircraft for sale in May accounted for 6.6% of the worldwide fleet, the lowest level recorded in 25 years by JETNET data, Vincent said. He said 864 pre-owned business jets sold during the first four months of 2021, up 36% from the same period last year.

“There are multiple offers on planes,” said Florida-based aviation attorney Stewart Lapayowker, founder of Lapayowker Jet Counsel PA.

Amanda Applegate, a partner at Aerlex Law Group, said she handled more deals for new jets than usual in May, as buyers fail to secure popular pre-owned planes like the G650, raising prices.

Applegate said it’s a case of pent-up demand as some wealthy travelers previously avoided private jets due to concerns like “flight shaming” over the environment. Corporate planes burn more fuel per passenger than commercial.

But since COVID-19, buyers have been shifting to private aviation to avoid airport crowds and coronavirus variants.

Applegate said some deals are so competitive she’s seen buyers give up pre-purchase inspections to win them.

Don Dwyer, managing partner at Guardian Jet, which does aircraft brokerage, appraisals, and consulting, recalled one case where a client didn’t undertake a pre-purchase inspection, which can take more than a month to complete.

It was a particular case since the plane was highly coveted, in good shape based on a visual inspection, and the seller was reputable, Dwyer said.

“I don’t recommend it, but in certain situations it can work.”

 

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Denny Thomas and Steve Orlofsky)

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Ford starts shipping Bronco SUVs from Michigan assembly plant

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Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it had started producing and shipping the new Bronco sport utility vehicles (SUVs) from its Michigan assembly plant, following a delay in the launch of the SUVs due to COVID-19-related issues with the automaker’s suppliers.

Customers have booked more than 125,000 sixth-generation Bronco SUVs since the beginning of the year, the company said. The SUVs are targeted at the Jeep Wrangler market segment.

Ford said it had made more than 190,000 reservations for the Bronco in the United States and Canada.

The company built the first generation of Broncos from 1966 to 1977, and withdrew the line in 1996 amid falling demand.

Ford said it had invested $750 million into and added about 2,700 jobs at the Michigan assembly plant to build the new Broncos.

 

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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