Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Ontario’s top doctor issues instructions on patient transfer amid record hospitalization

Rising COVID-19 hospitalizations have prompted Ontario’s top doctor to issue a directive to support overwhelmed hospitals while integrating patient transfers into the province’s health system.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, issued Directive 2.1 Friday to provide guidance to hospitals when moving patients from one facility to another.

According to the directive, hospitals “should support the transfer of patients, as appropriate, to other hospitals that have the capacity to provide treatment to patients, in order to maximize the capacity of the hospital system to provide and maintain care.” to maximize the capacity of the patient. As many patients as possible.”

“Hospital care providers shall participate in any system coordination and reporting procedures that may be established by Ontario Health with the aim of providing Ontario’s hospital system with the aim of providing quality services to as many patients as possible,” the directive read. .

Ontario hospitals have relied on patient transfers throughout the pandemic as a way of relieving the pressures brought on by COVID-19.

During the third wave, provincial officials issued emergency orders that gave hospitals the right to transfer patients to another hospital without their consent. It was canceled in June 2021.

The health ministry confirmed that under the directive, patient consent is required before transfer.

The directive complements an order issued earlier this month that suspended all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures in hospitals and clinics to free up thousands of beds.

As of Friday, there are 3,814 people with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. Of these, 527 adults are in intensive care.

Dr. Martin Bates, Head of Critical Care at the Scarborough Health Network, said the omicron wave is developing differently than previous pandemic waves. He said that in Scarborough, they are seeing the most COVID-19 patients ever.

“We’re seeing that one in 10 hospitalized patients come into the ICU. During the delta wave, that was probably one in three, and during the pre-wave, one in four, one in five,” Bates he said. “So, the pressure in the ICU is certainly great. But in our hospital wards, it’s even higher. Hospitals are really taking unprecedented steps to accommodate patients, funding the space to do so.” In the case of. But employees are also funding because we’ve heard so much.”

Bates said they plan to open a satellite facility in the coming days to accommodate the number of patients.

Dr. Fahad Razak, an internist at St. Michael’s Hospital and member of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, said he never saw health care resources run out as doctors, nurses and other health professionals are becoming infected with the virus.

“I haven’t seen this happen in any other phase of the pandemic. So, it’s actually a very unusual time. And it’s doubly difficult when you see these surges,” Razak said.

Moore said Thursday that hospitalizations in the province could peak by next week. However, a Toronto doctor said the province was still a long way from this.

“We are seeing more COVID patients every day,” UHN infectious disease specialist Dr. Abdu Sharqawi said on Friday morning. “We are talking about opening more COVID units in our hospital and I am hearing the same thing from other hospitals in GTA.”

–With files from Chris Herhalt

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