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Toronto’s SickKids Hospital seeing ‘high and increasing’ patient volumes

Click to play video: 'SickKids experiencing increase in visits to ER'
SickKids experiencing increase in visits to ER
WATCH ABOVE: The number of patients at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital is unusually high and continues to grow, according to officials. Erica Vella learns more about wait times and speaks with experts on what families can do before heading to the ER – Oct 27, 2022

The number of patients at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital is unusually high and continues to grow, according to officials.

A spokesperson for SickKids told Global News that patient volumes at the hospital’s emergency department were “unseasonably high and are increasing.”

The hospital said staffing challenges persist, while non-COVID illness were also increasingly common.

Read more: Respiratory illness, dropped masks, worker shortage, factors in Ontario kids’ hospital waits

Read next: U.S. is mulling shift to annual COVID-19 boosters. What about Canada? 

In a typical October, SickKids plans for between 220 and 230 patients in its emergency department over a 24-hour period. In 2022, the hospital has seen more than 300 visits in a 24-hour period on some October days.

In an attempt to reduce visits and control patient volume, the hospital is asking families to use its virtual urgent care program.

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“Before families visit our ED, we encourage them to contact their primary care provider to see what options are available,” the spokesperson said.

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