COVID-19: Influx of cases causing strain on Kingston hospitals

Click to play video: 'Hospitals in Kingston nearing ICU capacity as COVID-19 cases continue to rise' Hospitals in Kingston nearing ICU capacity as COVID-19 cases continue to rise
Hospitals in Kingston nearing ICU capacity as COVID-19 cases continue to rise – Nov 30, 2021

With the Kingston area counting new COVID-19 cases by the “dozens” each day, Kingston General Hospital (KGH) has also seen a sharp rise in very sick patients with the virus.

As of Tuesday morning, Kingston Health Sciences Centre is using approximately 90 per cent of its current ICU capacity and approximately 35 per cent of its ventilators for a variety of conditions, including COVID-19.

Read more: Kingston-area adds 29 new cases, one new death, active case number drops

“In addition to a number of people who are admitted and very, very sick with COVID, we also are experiencing incredibly high volumes of other sick and injured people who require admission,” says Elizabeth Bardon of KHSC.

Three weeks ago, KHSC revealed they were seeing a record number of patients in the emergency department at KGH and the urgent care centre at Hotel Dieu Hospital.

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Bardon says the influx of patients is causing a chaotic environment for patients and staff, made worse at times by some of those receiving emergency care.

“So we’re seeing an increase in people who are, perhaps, not being quite as respectful as we would like with our staff and its really important to remind people that we know they’re stressed but our teams are stressed too,” says Bardon.

“We need to work in partnership together and mutual respect is a big part of that.”

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Gerald Evans says he knows what hospital staff is going through.

Read more: Public Health confirms positive cases at Linguine’s restaurant in Belleville, Ont.

“People in hospital are tired and exhausted. As someone who works in the hospital, I can tell you I’m a little tired and a little exhausted,” says Evans. “We need to have that little bit of a break over the holidays too, but we can’t if there’s a real need for that care to be provided.”

As of right now, there is no increase in restrictions ahead of the holidays, but Dr. Oglaza and KFLA Public Health is encouraging all residents to limit social gatherings, continue screening for symptoms and get vaccinated.

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