Cambridge hospital warns potential patients of lengthy wait times in emergency room

Cambridge Memorial Hospital . Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News

Cambridge Memorial Hospital has issued a warning on Twitter to area residents to look for health care elsewhere as there are lengthy wait times in its emergency room.

“Emergency wait times are very high today due to patient volumes, limited inpatient beds and ongoing staff shortages,” the tweet says.

A spokesperson for the hospital told Global News that in some cases, people are waiting up to 12 hours for care.

“The wait times are very high right now – up to 12 hours, depending on the case,” the spokesperson said in an email.

“We are asking those individuals who are able, to choose an alternate health care option such as a walk-in clinic, virtual clinic if available or their family doctor.”

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They also said those in need of emergency care will be seen in priority order.

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“So, if a patient presents to the emergency department and they are at risk of losing life or a limb, they will be seen right away,” the spokesperson wrote.

“If the situation is not as grave, the person will be triaged according to their condition.”

At 11 a.m., the hospital’s website said there was a 4.5-hour wait time in the emergency room but it also noted that the clock is not accurate due to technical issues and that wait times are higher than reported.

The spokesperson’s note, which came a short time after that, said there were 22 patients waiting to be admitted in the emergency department.

“Unfortunately, our hospital is at capacity, meaning we have no beds to admit these patients,” they explained.

“People visiting the emergency department are much more ill than before, needing more time and attention from our clinicians. Plus, we continue to have staffing challenges (vacancies, sick, etc.), very similar to the other hospitals within the system.

“All of these are causing the slow down in the ED.”

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