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Hospitals running over capacity
An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness has resulted in the closure of a unit at Royal University Hospital.
Published Thursday, January 24, 2013 5:29PM CST
Last Updated Friday, January 25, 2013 10:59AM CST
Two of Saskatoon’s Hospitals are dealing with capacity issues.
Royal University and St. Paul’s Hospitals are struggling against increasing demand from a growing population as well as restricted resources due to Norovirus outbreaks.
The pressure has led to overtime for staff and temporary beds popping up in both hospitals to accommodate the high number of patients. Space has been opened up across both hospitals to make room for extra beds. Several ambulatory units and recovery rooms have become temporary short-term rooms. There have also been several days where up to six patients have been placed in the hallways to try and accommodate the demand.
Short-term beds aren’t the only beds in high demand. Sandra Blevins, vice president of integrated health services, said long-term care beds are full. As of Thursday, there were 63 patients waiting for either new, or a higher level of long-term care space.
The health region is urging families considering long-term care for loved ones to have discussions early in order to ensure they get the care they need.
“It’s harder when they’re in our care and in a situation where it’s a bit more critical,” Blevins said. “There’s a lot more pressure for time. And that’s what we’re dealing with right now with a large number of people – difficult decisions, difficult conversations.”
Despite the crowding, CTV News has learned that City Hospital does have open beds. However, like the RUH and St. Paul’s hospital, they are understaffed and don’t have the personnel to attend to them.