Patients’ personal health data for eye exams were lost

Six weeks after Ontario’s privacy commissioner ordered the Hospital for Sick Children not to remove electronic health records from the hospital, a doctor lost an external hard drive containing such records at the country’s busiest airport.

The hard drive, lost at Pearson International on April 21, contained personal health data on 3,300 patients who had received eye examinations or eye treatment at the hospital.

The files included patient names, dates of birth, diagnoses, ophthalmologic images, and photographs of eyes and eye injuries.


Helen Simeon, director of public affairs at Sick Kids, said it took months to reconstruct the information and affected patients were not notified of the security breach until a letter was sent Aug. 28.

Numbers not lost

  • A Sick Kids official said the lost files did not contain OHIP, telephone or social insurance numbers.