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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 03, 2024  1 month, 3 weeks, 19 hours, 22 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: Emergency Rooms in Quebec Overwhelmed-JN.1 Surge Pushes ER Capacity To Alarming 127 Percent!

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COVID-19 News: Emergency Rooms in Quebec Overwhelmed-JN.1 Surge Pushes ER Capacity To Alarming 127 Percent!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 03, 2024  1 month, 3 weeks, 19 hours, 22 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: As the countdown to the new year is over, emergency rooms (ERs) in Quebec are grappling with a dire situation as capacity surges past 100 percent, hitting a staggering 127 percent in Montreal. The province is witnessing a concerning rise in respiratory viruses, with many citizens falling ill and seeking urgent medical attention.


ER Depts In Hospitals Across Quebec Overwhelmed Due To JN.1
 
A Relentless Surge in ER Occupancy Rates
The relentless surge in ER occupancy rates has been relentless since December 27, marking a troubling trend following a brief respite when rates dipped below 100 percent from November 12 to December 23. As of this morning, the crisis has reached unprecedented levels, with Montreal's average stretcher occupancy rate skyrocketing to 140 percent, as reported by Index Santé.
https://www.indexsante.ca/urgences/#Montreal
 
Montreal's Struggling Healthcare Infrastructure
The Royal Victoria Hospital finds itself at an alarming 221 percent capacity, closely followed by the Montreal General Hospital at 184 percent and Lasalle Hospital at 180 percent. The situation extends beyond Montreal, impacting regions like the Laurentians, where the average occupancy rate stands at 151 percent, and Mont-Laurier Hospital has hit a staggering 220 percent.
 
Regional Impact: A System Under Strain
In Lanaudière and Montérégie, occupancy rates hover at 175 and 142 percent, respectively. Barrie-Memorial Hospital in the latter region is grappling with an overwhelming 280 percent capacity, while Anna-Laberge Hospital stands at 181 percent. Other regions, including Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec and Eastern Townships, maintain an average occupancy of 114 percent, with the Capitale-Nationale region at 106 percent.
 
Doctors' Warning and Virologist's Perspective
Late last month, the association representing emergency room doctors, the RCUQ, issued a stark warning to Health Minister Christian Dubé, stating that the situation in Quebec's ERs was "out of control." Despite the surge, Dr Delphine Rémillard Labrosse, vice-president of Quebec's association of ER doctors, emphasized that the numbers are in line with expectations for December due to the prevalence of airborne viruses and increased indoor gatherings.
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-covid-19-news-canada-doctors-are-literally-crying-for-help-as-emergency-rooms-situation-is-beyond-control-in-quebec
 
Virologist Benoît Barbeau, a biology professor at L'Université du Québec à Montréal, warns that the worst is yet to come as the peak of the flu season approaches. He urges people experiencing respiratory infection symptoms to stay home, emphasizing the imp ortance of responsible behavior to prevent further spread.
 
Systemic Challenges: ER Congestion Beyond Patient Influx
However, Dr Rémillard Labrosse underscored a systemic issue contributing to ER congestion. Many patients are stranded in ERs due to a lack of available space on the wards. "Once we have made the decision to hospitalize these patients, we cannot send them to the wards. So there is a systemic problem. Patients stay in the ER. The time they spend on stretchers in ERs is increasing," she explained.
 
Government Plea and Healthcare Guidelines
The Quebec government echoes these concerns, advising those with symptoms to stay home and wear masks if seeking medical attention. In a news release, the Health Department urges people with minor illnesses to consider alternative health-care services rather than overwhelming already stretched ERs.
 
Tragedy Strikes: Deaths Amidst ER Wait
Tragically, the dire situation in Quebec's ERs has claimed lives. Local COVID-19 News coverages had reported that two patients died while awaiting care at Anna-Laberge hospital in Châteauguay, sparking multiple investigations by the coroner's office and local health authorities.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/anna-laberge-hospital-deaths-er-1.7049741
 
Health Minister Christian Dubé, visibly disturbed by the events, labeled the situation "completely unacceptable" and declared that emergency rooms across the province are full to bursting, with no signs of improvement.
 
Investigations and Calls for Change
Hospital management revealed that the patients died in the ER on November 29 and 30, highlighting the need for improved ER management and continuous monitoring of patients' conditions. The ER at Anna-Laberge hospital has long faced challenges with overcrowding, and health officials are hopeful that the investigations will shed light on potential solutions.
 
Interim president of the FIQ, a union representing healthcare workers, Dominic Caisse, expressed hope for positive changes in the ER layout and management. Patient rights advocate Paul Brunet stressed the need for continuous examination of patients in the ER to prevent worsening conditions.
 
Political Backlash and Calls for Action
Opposition politicians in Quebec City criticized the government's handling of ER issues, citing ongoing problems that have persisted for decades. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois from Québec Solidaire proposed that resolving delays in ERs could be facilitated by reaching a quick agreement with striking healthcare workers.
Minister Dubé, while acknowledging strikes affecting the 811 health hotline, urged citizens to avoid unnecessary ER visits, emphasizing the need to wait on the telephone rather than exacerbating the strain on already overwhelmed emergency services.
 
A Plea for Collective Responsibility
As Quebec grapples with this unprecedented healthcare crisis, it is crucial for citizens to heed the warnings, take precautions, and act responsibly to alleviate the burden on the healthcare system. The situation serves as a stark reminder that the fight against the ongoing pandemic and other health challenges is far from over, demanding collective vigilance and cooperation.
 
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

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