Transport teams moving adult patients from hard hit areas to local hospitals
LONDON, ONT. -- Health care workers on the ground and in the sky have been working around the clock to transfer the hardest hit COVID-19 patients to intensive care units (ICU) across Ontario.
Ornge associate medical officer of health, Michael Lewell, says Ornge has been busier than ever with transfers and that additional resources may be needed.
“Right now, we are meeting our maximum threshold…if the number of transports are required to increase then we may have to look at developing other teams…We have also been engaging with our land EMS colleagues to move the non-ICU patients in large volumes throughout the GTA and Toronto area, as well as across southeastern and southwestern Ontario.”
The province is dealing with an onslaught of ICU admissions with a record 642 COVID-19 patients reported Wednesday.
Robert Biron, president and CEO of St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, says many southwest-area hospitals are accepting patients into their ICUs, if empty beds are available.
“The GTA and Toronto area is in a significant this-wave surge, the demand for service is outstripping the available beds and resources they have.”
To combat this, Biron said talks are underway to create on-the-ground transport teams to assist.
“There is some efforts in the southwest region, particularly London, to have a transport team of their own. I don’t know the details, but I know there is a number of transport service opportunities that are being explored.”
CTV News has learned London Health Sciences Centre is putting together a ground transport team to transfer adult patients from the hardest hit areas to local hospitals. It is expected the team will be in place by Friday.
Meanwhile, the region hit its own record Wednesday with 176 new COVID-19 cases reported.
“Certainly as we see these case counts rise it's an important reminder to the community. It's not just case counts it's what it means for hospital capacity down the road as well,” says Dr. Alex Summers, Middlesex-London associate medical officer of health.