Saskatchewan Examiner

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

An ER doctor in Saskatoon claims that the city’s hospitals are full capacity

As per Saskatoon ER doctor, the city's hospitals are 'at or near capacity.'

Key takeaways:

  • The University of Saskatchewan’s director of emergency medicine says Saskatoon’s hospitals are overcrowded.
  • Protective measures, such as wearing face masks in public, maybe beneficial, according to Stempien.

The director of emergency medicine at the University of Saskatchewan believes Saskatoon’s hospitals are overburdened.

Dr. James Stempien told CTV News, “We’re seeing many people in the waiting rooms and back hallways.”

Stempien’s remarks come on the same day as a team of researchers monitoring the city’s wastewater found an almost 743 percent spike in coronavirus traces.

“When I talk to ER physicians throughout the province, Battlefords, Regina, many different hospitals have similar challenges with increasing volumes, a lot of sick patients, and still COVID patients on top of their regular volumes,” she says.

Also read: A rally in Saskatoon condemns Russian ‘atrocities’ in Ukraine

According to him, many of the COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated and show up in emergency hospitals feeling “very ill,” him.

Last Monday, health minister Paul Merriman stated that while there are issues in Saskatoon, “total hospital capacity is still at 94 percent” and “ICU capacity is around 74 percent,” indicating that “hospital capacity is still around 94 percent.”

While hospitals may not be at capacity across the province, pressure regions such as Saskatoon are “over 100% in terms of capacity,” according to Stempien.”

“Saskatoon is extremely overcrowded, and not only are all of the beds upstairs full, but the ER beds, which are intended to be for emergency patients presenting, are frequently full of acute patients,” he said.

As per Saskatoon ER doctor, the city's hospitals are 'at or near capacity.'
As per Saskatoon ER doctor, the city’s hospitals are ‘at or near capacity.’ Image from CBC News

“The system is beneath a lot of strain.”

Healthcare workers find it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel due to fatigue and illness.

“It’s like running a marathon, and then they change the course and say, “It’s not 42 kilometers; we’ll do 50 today,” Stempien remarked.

“You’re mentally prepared for an ending, but it’s not coming, and I believe many people are becoming physically and mentally stressed.”

According to Stempien, protective steps, such as wearing face masks in public, might be useful.

“If we’re seeing an increase in the number of people getting sick and the healthcare system can’t handle it,” he said, “we may have to rethink our current approach, which isn’t providing those safeguards to the vulnerable folks who are showing up in the ER.”

“Waiting-room medicine or back-hall medication can only be done for so long before you get psychologically and physically exhausted.”

Source: CTV News

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