Windsor Regional Hospital To Begin Transferring Patients To Chatham, Sarnia Due To Lack Of Available Beds

Tuesday January 5th, 2021

Posted at 11:06am

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Windsor Regional Hospital has begun transferring some patients to other southwestern Ontario hospitals to create bed capacity at the two Windsor campuses.

On Monday, January 4th, the hospital said they had 74 in patients admitted to the hospital who tested positive for COVID-19. They report this is much higher than the peak volume of confirmed COVID-19 patients seen on any day during the first wave last May of 27 patients.

About 15 to as high as 20 of these patients require treatment in their critical care units, which have reached capacity with many non-COVID-19 patients.

High volumes of COVID-19 patients constrain hospital capacity because these individuals need to be isolated and cannot safely share rooms with non-COVID patients in the hospital.

Internally, the hospital says they have maximized acute care bed capacity between both campuses taking into account. Still, the hospital continues to see capacity pressures and a lack of bed space to treat patients safely with the staffing resources and physical space available.

The hospital says decisions are based on the guidance provided by Ontario Health last June called for hospitals to “maximize the number of private and semi-private rooms with dedicated washrooms, using four-bed ward rooms as semi-private rooms when possible, ensuring a two-meter distance between patient beds and the use of alternative spaces for beds in current hospital facilities.”

These guidance measures are unattainable at current patient volumes. Only 29% of all inpatient beds at Met Campus and 16% of all inpatient beds at Ouellette Campus are in private rooms. Also, in the vast majority of semi-private or ward rooms, a two-meter distance between beds in our ageing facilities is not possible.

“Our ageing infrastructure cannot accommodate safe, quality care for all of our patients given the recent surge in COVID-19 patients requiring admission to hospital and requiring isolation protocols,” said Karen Riddell, WRH Chief Nursing Executive and Chief Operating Officer. “We know transferring patients out of Windsor-Essex is not ideal, and we understand this places challenges on patients and their loved ones. We hope to keep these transfers to a minimum. However, we need to prioritize the safety of our patients and the ability of our regional hospital system to provide adequate treatment and care.”

The hospital says they anticipate as many as 20 patients may require transfer this week to Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and Bluewater Health in Sarnia.

Windsor Regional Hospital will be working with Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and Bluewater Health on determining the most appropriate acute care patients to transfer, notify families and work with Essex-Windsor EMS on safe transport.

At the same time, Windsor Regional Hospital continues to work with Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare on transferring appropriate patients requiring non-acute care. The patients who will be transferred to Bluewater Health, CKHA and HDGH are not suitable for care at the field hospital.

 

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