Regional hospitals coping with snow-related injuries

Slippery conditions across the southern island are resulting in more people needed emergency hospital services.

Island Health's Meribeth Burton confirms emergency staff are extremely busy right now:

" We have very busy emergency departments. Both the Royal Jubilee and Victoria General are very busy right now. We never turn anybody away and if you have a medical emergency then  that is absolutely where you need to be."

Burton says if you don't have a medical emergency you be better off going to a walk in clinic, or the West Shore Urgent Care Clinic. But if you end up at Emergency, be prepared for a wait:

"Also be patient because of the business of our emrgency departments. The wait might be longer than usual. We are seeing increased slip and falls, we are seeing increased fractures, and certainly MVI crash-related injuries."

Complicating things -- many staff aren't able to make it to work.  But Burton says the Vancouver Island 4x4 Club has stepped up to offer rides to doctors and nurses, and many medical staffers are opting to stay overnight to ensure they are available.

" But overnight we had several staff just stay at the sites because they were worried that they wouldn't be able to get to work today. You know, our staff work incredibly hard every single day of the year, but in these circumstances they certainly come together."

Burton says there are emergency protocols in place, but thankfully these kinds of things don't happen very often.

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