Hospitals are having such difficulty keeping up with demand that a memo was sent Tuesday to all Edmonton-area hospitals requiring them to take more patients than there is space available. . All units must have patients in the hallways.
According to Alberta Health Services (AHS) spokesperson James Wood, this measure is not
the preferred method of carebut it is needed for the next 24 to 36 hours.
This helps ensure patient flow throughout the Edmonton area and keeps ambulances available in the communityhe said in an email.
Overcrowding in the emergency services delays the moment when a patient passes from the responsibility of the paramedics to that of the hospital, which then immobilizes the ambulances.
Ambulances on red alert
The Alberta capital and Calgary thus frequently find themselves without an ambulance available to respond to emergency calls, according to data released by the New Democratic Party (NDP) and obtained through an access to information request.
For Calgary, April 2022 was the worst month for Red Alerts, the term used to refer to a situation where all ambulances in the city are busy and cannot respond to a 911 call. metropolis in the south of the province found itself without an available ambulance 618 times, for a total of nearly 11 hours.
The situation is worse in Edmonton: the Alberta capital experienced 859 red alerts in May, or nearly 25 hours without an ambulance available.
Data shows that in 2019, the number of red alerts rarely reached 100 in the two major cities.
We’re operating in disaster mode, said, concerned, the emergency doctor and president of emergency medicine at the Medical Association of Alberta, Paul Parks. However, summer is the least busy period in hospitals, which makes him fear the fall and the onset of respiratory illnesses.
The provincial secretary of the United Nurses Union of Alberta, Karen Craik, also believes that the measures in place create a vicious circle.
It’s stressful, because you can’t take care of the patients as you would like.she says.
Caring for patients in the hallway adds to staff burnout and encourages employees to leave in search of better working conditions, she adds.
the NDPcalls on the government to take action, in particular by offering full-time contracts to paramedics and by increasing the services available to dependent people to stem the opioid crisis.