In Cornwall, Ontario, hundreds of surgeries have been put on hold again as the city’s hospitals have been forced to close their operating rooms due to an increase in COVID-19 patients.
In a release published Wednesday, officials at Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) said that only cases of life-threatening cancer and other high-priority surgery would progress over the next few weeks.
“We do this ourselves for hospital self-preservation,” said Dr. Gary Weinberg, CCH’s director of surgery.
Weinberg said postponing non-urgent surgery would allow more and more hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients, allowing hospitals to reserve beds and resources in case of an emergency.
There are several in Cornwall Highest positive rate and lowest vaccination rate In Ontario. In some areas, only 69% of eligible individuals are fully vaccinated.
“Unfortunately, it’s the surgeries and the patients who need them that are hitting the community,” Weinberg said.
CCH will temporarily close the operating room to prioritize urgent and high-priority elective surgery in response to the increase in patient numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lowest vaccination rate in the state
According to Weinberg, hospitals that had already exceeded capacity in September are now “much more than that.”
Currently, 19 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, 13 of whom require intensive care. More than half of all cases of CCH are unvaccinated.
The problem, according to Weinberg, is that cases of COVID-19 require longer hospital stays than the average patient. A common problem can stabilize within 2-5 days, but COVID-19 patients take an average of about 2 weeks from admission to discharge and “cannot continue” due to lack of flow, Weinberg said. Says.
“If there was no place to place the patient after surgery, we simply couldn’t continue the operating room,” he said.
Many nurses and medical staff in the hospital have also been relocated to burnout, illness, or other wards, according to Weinberg.
Outbreaks in Cornwall have also prevented large numbers of patients in hospital beds from being safely transferred to community care facilities, many of whom also suffer from staff shortages, according to hospital officials.
The situation could have been avoided, officials say
This is the third time the surgery has been rescheduled in the hospital in the last 18 months.Twice before it was the cause State-mandated shutdownHowever, this is the first time CCH has chosen to postpone its own surgery.
“It’s a shame to tell the patient about it,” Weinberg said.
Dr. Paul Lumeriotis, a medical officer at Weinberg and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, said the current situation could have been largely avoided if more locals were vaccinated.
“Not only that [unvaccinated] As you know, individuals have a higher incidence of complications such as hospitalization and ICU admission. [unvaccinated people] It will also overwhelm our healthcare services. ”
Affected patients who are scheduled for surgery within the next few days will be contacted by CCH staff. According to Weinberg, the goal is to return to a normal operational schedule in two weeks.
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