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Alert level raised: hospitals on the verge of service disruption | Coronavirus


It is in this context that hospitals have triggered the maximum alert level and have moved to level 4 of load shedding, which means postponing even more surgeries to free up staff.

According to our sources, this is the case with Integrated university health and social services center from Estrie and Mauricie – Center-du-Québec. the Integrated health and social services center des Laurentides also exceeded the level 3 target and asked Quebec to move up to 4th, but that has not yet been accepted.

If the Omicron variant occupies little intensive care, it overflows the floors of hospitalizations, and not necessarily because of its severity.

The absences of health workers in isolation have tripled since December 19, thus considerably reducing the reception capacity of establishments.

At the same time, more and more Quebecers who go to hospital for fractures, childbirth or appendicitis attacks are more and more likely to discover on the spot that they are infected.

The situation is critical in several departments, wrote the CEO from Integrated health and social services center des Laurentides, Rosemonde Landry, in an internal note, Friday. Load shedding is essential.

The situation is deteriorating, notes the head of the surgical department of the Integrated health and social services center, Pierre-André Clermont, in interview with TurnedNews.com.% for more than a week “,” text “:” We have already reduced surgical activities by 50% for more than a week “}} ‘>We have already reduced surgical activities by 50% for more than a week, as required by alert level 3.

This level of load shedding provides a target of 48 COVID beds for the Integrated health and social services center of the Laurentians. However, there were 111 patients infected in hospitals in the region on Wednesday, more than double.

We will not have the choice to go towards more load shedding, says the president of the Union of healthcare professionals of the Laurentians (Quebec Interprofessional Health Federation), Julie Daigneault.

There is extreme staff fatigue […]. The situation is only getting worse now.

A quote from Julie Daigneault, President of the Union of Laurentian Healthcare Professionals

It’s unheard of, our members are exhausted, adds Valérie Lapensée, communications manager for the Union of Workers of the Laurentians in Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN).

the Integrated health and social services center des Laurentides did not want to confirm its request to go to level 4 of load shedding. In collaboration with the ministry, we are monitoring the situation closely, as it can change very quickly, says spokesperson Véronique Bernier. Our wish is obviously to maintain regular activities as much as possible to meet the needs of the population.

The plan of Integrated health and social services center, which we have learned, plans to postpone even more surgeries, even though 10,000 people are already waiting for operations in the region.

It is also planned, when necessary, to close the emergency room and the operating room in Argenteuil in order to repatriate resources to Saint-Jérôme to avoid a possible disruption of services.

On Wednesday, the Argenteuil emergency had a stretcher occupancy rate of 225% and, to make matters worse, an outbreak of COVID-19 was reported there during the day.

Generalized outbreaks

At the Saint-Eustache hospital, 9 units are hatching out of a total of 15 and there were 7 outbreaks at the Saint-Jérôme hospital center on Wednesday. The emergencies of the two establishments are in bloom, as well as the cancer center of Saint-Eustache.

Even the Saint-Jérôme laboratory that receives COVID-19 tests was affected by an outbreak in late December, a memo said.

Doctors and nurses stationed in Saint-Eustache told us how outbreaks slow down all operations. The staff redouble their precautions and a room must be left empty for 20 minutes after the passage of an operated patient, in order to eliminate the aerosols.

The service offer is maintained and there is no break in service, assures the spokesperson of Integrated university health and social services center, Evelyne Matteau. Staff, both clinical and medical, are available to provide appropriate services to users.

Several health establishments have reactivated the special provisions of the health emergency which allow them to cancel vacations, to force employees to work full time or to move workers.

Montreal hospitals on the tightrope

At the Hôpital Sacré-Coeur in Montreal, a medical source indicates that around 30 surgical beds are closed due to the outbreaks, which affect almost all the units of the establishment.

Here again, it is the explosion in the number of infected employees that is in question. In total, 760 CIUSSS employees and doctors are on the sidelines due to COVID-19. The number of infected patients in the care units has already been exceeded. There would be a small margin left in intensive care.

Attendants in a hallway of a hospital.

More than 52 patients are infected with COVID-19 at the Hôpital Sacré-Coeur, in Montreal.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Ivanoh Demers

For the moment, no establishment in the metropolis is at alert level 4, but several should reach it soon.

the Integrated university health and social services center du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, for example, decided on Wednesday to extend the load shedding until January 17.

Elective surgeries (elective surgery that can be postponed without endangering the patient) have been postponed, and outpatient activities (outpatient clinics) have been reduced, specifies the establishment by email.

Elsewhere on the island of Montreal, doctors expect a massive load shedding in the coming days. We know we’re going into the wall. It just remains to be seen when we’re gonna hit him, indicates a surgeon who works in the metropolis.

In an internal document from the Quebec health ministry, obtained by TurnedNews.com, we describe which activities will need to be protected in the weeks to come. Pregnancy follow-ups and those of elderly or mentally ill patients must be maintained. The same goes for medical assistance in dying and palliative care. The follow-up of infants from 0 to 6 months must also be maintained.

Delta in intensive care, Omicron elsewhere in the hospital

In the internal document presented last week, the ministry cites an Omicron variant that is three to five times more contagious than the Delta, but for which the risk of hospitalization in intensive care is half as high.

According to an email signed on January 3 by the president of the ministerial committee for critical care COVID-19, Diane Poirier, also deputy director general of network coordination, the vast majority of severe cases still seem from Delta.

In France, the Minister of Health Olivier Veran explained this week that it is still the Delta variant that predominates in intensive care services, even if it circulates much less than Omicron in society.

Officially, in Quebec, neither the ministry nor the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) are able to say what proportion of the some 200 patients in intensive care due to COVID-19 are carriers of the Omicron variant.

In the field, the head of intensive care at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, François Marquis, also notes that a large proportion of patients in intensive care units are those who suffer from the Delta variant.

While some may believe this is good news or a sign that the pandemic is fading, Dr Marquis fears an increase in hospital outbreaks with young people carrying the virus who are at risk of death. ‘infect more vulnerable patients.

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