Elective Surgeries Still Weeks Away as WRH Takes Patients from Across Ontario

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It could be weeks before Windsor Regional Hospital resumes elective procedures.

Chief of Staff Dr. Wassim Saad says the hospital has taken 70 patients from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to help deal with the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) crisis caused by COVID-19 as of Sunday.

Dr. Saad says a backlog of elective surgeries will have to wait until COVID-19 numbers stabilize across Ontario.

"We're not just looking after residents of Windsor-Essex," he says. "If one place in the province is on fire and their ICU's are overwhelmed, we can't be doing elective surgeries and occupying our ICU beds with elective patients when somebody else's life is potentially at risk."

According to Dr. Saad, the Ministry or Health is waiting for infection rates to drop in the GTA.

"The numbers for positivity rates in the province in some regions are still a little bit too high for anyone at the ministry level to say we can start surgeries up again," says Dr. Saad. "That could change in a week or two, but maybe more."

Chief Nursing Executive Karen Riddell says younger and stronger people continue to be admitted to hospital with the virus.

She says they're more likely to survive the virus, but tend to stay in hospital longer while recovering.

"We're looking outside of the acute care stay and what the demands might be on sub acute. Whether that's rehabilitation, complex continuing care or rehab in the community," she says. "We're looking at what kind of capacity we need to build in that sector to support the fallout from COVID-19."

Dr. Saad says 10 more patients, and additional ICU patients, will arrive from the GTA on May 13.

Twenty-eight patients who have been brought in from the GTA have already been discharged from Windsor Regional Hospital.

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