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Update: HHS’s ongoing effort to create critical care and staffing capacity
April 21, 2021

Update: HHS’s ongoing effort to create critical care and staffing capacity

HAMILTON, ON – There continues to be a significant effort at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and across Ontario to create much needed critical care and medical inpatient capacity to address the third wave of this pandemic.

As a start, and in accordance with provincial direction, HHS has been ramping down scheduled surgeries and non-emergent, non-urgent activities to be able to free-up staff for the response. HHS also announced additional measures to create critical care and staffing capacity in response to the third wave last week.

By the end of this week, HHS will have increased ICU capacity at HHS by 38 beds – from 88 to 126 – and supported the redeployment of 200 highly skilled and valued staff.

All of this is required to avoid the direst situation when the scarcity of available hospital resources might necessitate the use of a critical care triage protocol to decide which patients continue to receive life-saving care and which do not.

Significant effort is being applied to ensure that no single hospital is overwhelmed to the point of making such decisions. Greater Toronto Area (GTA) hospitals are a particular focus, and hospitals in Ontario West, including Hamilton, are accepting an increasing number of transferred patients to relieve the pressure this pressure.

To date, HHS has received 43 patient transfers with more planned every day this week. These transfers are being coordinated by the Regional Hospital Incident Management Systems (IMS) tables.

We all hope that we will see a plateauing and downturn in cases in the near future. But for now, we need to continue to pull together to find a way through this – 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.

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.

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

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For more information, please contact:

Wendy Stewart
Communications & Public Affairs