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Some elective surgeries at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital to be postponed due to flu surge

The HSC Children's Hospital.
The HSC Children's Hospital. File Photo

The HSC Children’s Hospital is being forced to cancel some non-emergency surgeries due to a spike in flu cases.

RELATED: Winnipeg teen, Manitoba woman die from flu complications

Since mid-December, the hospital has admitted 120 children and babies with lab-confirmed cases of respiratory infections and other influenza-like illnesses.

The hospital is home to the province’s only pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

“We have increased capacity in our PICU and in other areas,” said Nicole Sneath, director of child health at HSC Winnipeg.

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“However, the sustained nature of the increase has made it necessary for us to look at all options to ensure we have the ability to continue to admit and care for our sickest children.”

READ MORE: Influenza, respiratory illness take early hold in Manitoba

Fewer than five surgeries per week are expected to be affected by the decision. Emergency and urgent surgeries, day surgeries and cancer cases are not affected.

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St. Boniface Hospital was also forced to postpone some non-urgent and elective surgeries due to the rise in influenza patients.

The WRHA says the city is being hit by three seasonal illnesses at once this year.

Last week, they said as many as 130 more patients than usual were showing up in emergency rooms each day.

More than 6,500 children have visited the emergency department at the hospital since mid-December, a significant increase over the same time last year.

Manitoba 2019-20 flu vaccinations well below national average
Manitoba 2019-20 flu vaccinations well below national average