Three more Manitoba COVID-19 patients who were receiving care in Ontario intensive care units have died.
“Our condolences are extended to these individuals’ families and loved ones for their loss.” a spokesperson for Shared Health told Global News. “These deaths will be reflected in Manitoba’s official COVID fatality count in the coming days.”
The deaths include a woman in her 50s who was transported on May 18 and two men in their 60s who were transferred on May 25 and 30.
So far, seven Manitoba COVID-19 patients have now died at facilities outside the province.
One Manitoban also passed away after she destabilized while being loaded onto a plane for transfer to an Ontario Hospital on May 23.
Krystal Mousseau, 31, died May 24 in Brandon, the day after an attempted medical transfer to an intensive care unit in Ontario due to a shortage of beds in Manitoba.
Shared Health started transferring patients out of province on May 18 as hospitals here grappled with ICU space and staff issues.
Right now there are 24 patients being treated out of province, including 23 in Ontario and one in Alberta.
For a third consecutive day, zero COVID-19 patients were transported out of province for care on Monday.
“While daily case counts are trending in a positive direction, Manitoba’s hospitals are still straining to handle the patient surge and further out of province transports to help manage capacity remains an option for our health-care system for the foreseeable future,” a spokesperson said.
In total, 57 critically ill COVID patients have been transported out of province for care including 53 patients to Ontario, two to Alberta and two to Saskatchewan.
Dr. Rob Grierson, chief medical officer of Shared Health’s Emergency Response Services, is the person who makes the final call about who is transported out of province.
“We don’t take this step lightly,” he told Global News at the end of May. “When we’re trying to move people, we try to find patients where maybe just one body system has been affected and so we’re trying to find patients that have, as I said before, are as stable as you can get in an intensive care unit.”
Grierson said patients are all carefully assessed by the critical care team and added that detailed discussions happen between the teams sending and receiving the patient.
“When you’re managing critical care patients, every step you take has to be carefully calculated,” he said. There are risks associated with every step of the way.”
As patients are able to be moved out of the ICU they are flown back to Manitoba to continue receiving care.
The province has been able to repatriate 26 patients to hospitals in Manitoba.
Manitoba reported two additional deaths and 116 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.