WLMH ORs shutdown to max COVID capacities

The pressure within Ontario and on our hospital due to COVID-19 is escalating rapidly and Hamilton Health Sciences is feeling it across its system – including West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

“HHS continues to create capacity for critical care and to ensure that the team members with the specialized skills and expertise required to care for the sickest patients are available and supported,” said Tom Perry of HHS’s communications & public affairs department.

• HHS has been ramping down scheduled surgeries and non-emergent, non-urgent activities to be able to free-up staff for the response.
• As of last Friday, April 16, the OR at WLMH was temporarily closed and Labour and Delivery will also be temporarily redirected to Niagara Health in St. Catharines.
• Patients will be advised by their health care provider about any changes to their care plan.
• Any surgeries or procedures booked in the operating rooms at WLMH will be cancelled and rebooked. Additional information about pausing scheduled care is available here.
•Information for families expecting to deliver at WLMH during this time is available here.
• Appointments and diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays and ECGs, will go forward as scheduled.

All other hospital services remain open, including the emergency department.

“As always, we thank our staff, physicians and partners at Niagara Health for their ongoing flexibility, professionalism and support of our patients,” said Perry.

Current HHS ICU capacity is at 94 per cent, with 102 beds occupied out of a total of 108.

The effort continues across HHS as a whole to create capacity for critical care, and to ensure that the team members with the specialized skills and expertise required to care for the sickest patients are available and supported.

These measures, while unwelcome by all of us, are necessary to respond to this third and most severe wave of the pandemic. To-date, approximately 40 staff have been redeployed to help care for those during the third wave.

“Patients should continue to attend their appointments. Patients will be contacted directly by their surgeon or a member of their care team if there is a change to their planned care. Our hospitals remain open and safe for everyone who needs emergency care,” said Perry.

“We ask that you please register and get vaccinated as soon as you become eligible to do so, abide by public health restrictions that are in place, and continue to practice masking and physical distancing.”

More information, including ICU capacity data, has been added to HHS’s website at https://www.hamiltonhealthsciences.ca/covid19/.

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