Manitoba ICUs grapple with staggering amount of COVID-19 admissions, more patients sent to Ontario

Manitoba's ICUs are seeing a skyrocketing number of admissions, according to Shared Health. via The Ottawa Hospital

Shared Health says 225 patients have been admitted to Manitoba ICUs in May, blowing past the 50 admitted in April.

That includes 17 in only a 24-hour period; a quarter of the overall capacity and not including those admitted for non-COVID-19 issues.

“Manitoba’s ICUs continue to see admissions well above anything experienced in Wave Two of the pandemic and far exceeding pre-pandemic norms,” a Shared Health spokesperson wrote in an email statement.

“It is also an unfortunate milestone in the province’s pandemic response, representing the highest number of admission to ICU in a 24-hour period.”

As of Sunday morning, Shared Health says 123 patients were receiving critical care in Manitoba.

74 of those have or are recovering from COVID-19. Fourteen are under age 40.

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Additionally, four more patients were transferred to Ontario on Saturday to cope with the ongoing surge, bringing the total to date to 34. Another person was previously sent to Saskatchewan.

The latest were sent to Ottawa, Owen Sound, Markham and Sault Ste. Marie.

Three people have since returned to Manitoba from Ontario, but are still receiving care in hospitals.

Shared Health says more transfers were tentatively scheduled for Sunday.

“We send our support and appreciation to families of patients and those on the front lines of our health care system as we hear about more Manitobans in ICU and more deaths,” Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew said in an email statement.

“Today, the Premier must increase the request of critical care nurses and respiratory therapists sent to our province from the federal government so that Manitobans in ICU can receive quality care in their home province.”

The premier’s request for dozens of health care staff, respiratory therapists, and armed forces support was answered by the federal government last week.

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Canadian Armed Forces members began arriving in the province on Friday.

“The impact of COVID-19 on patients who become ill with the virus are evident. However, there are also thousands of non-COVID patients negatively impacted by the unprecedented demands of the pandemic on our health-care system,” the Shared Health email reads.

“For all those reasons, it is critical that Manitobans follow public health measures and stay home as much as possible, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.”

Click to play video: 'Operation LASER plane to help transport Manitoba ICU patients'
Operation LASER plane to help transport Manitoba ICU patients

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