NL Gazette

Emergency room diversions causing backlogs at Grand Falls-Windsor hospital

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • Temporary shutdowns are a worst-case scenario, says Central Health.
  • Dr. Jared Butler, Central Health’s medical director of primary care, says the temporary shutdown of an emergency room is often a worst-case scenario. 

Emergency room shutdowns across central Newfoundland funnel patients to the larger hospital in Grand Falls-Windsor, leading to waits for ambulances and longer wait times for care.

This week, emergency rooms at the Connaigre Peninsula Health Centre, Baie Verte Peninsula Health Centre, and Green Bay Community Health Centre met temporary shutdowns or diversions, forcing some patients to travel to the ER Grand Falls-Windsor.

As a consequence of more people needing care at the facility, reports on social media suggested numerous ambulances were parked outside the hospital waiting to offload patients due to a shortage of available beds.

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Emergency room shutdowns across central Newfoundland funnel patients to the larger hospital in Grand Falls-Windsor, leading to waits for ambulances and longer wait times for care

Dr. Jared Butler, Central Health’s medical director of primary care, stated that although the health authority attempts to keep diversions to a minimum, it’s usually a worst-case scenario.

“It’s occurred intermittently in recent times, and it is something we don’t want to see occur on a day-to-day basis for our team,” Butler informed CBC News Friday.

Butler stated beds at the hospital are available, but the number varies based on how many people move through the emergency room. He said there are high-pressure and low-pressure times but stated the hospital had seen more high-pressure points in recent weeks. If the emergency room starts to fill beyond capacity, Butler said Central Health is ready to find ways to mitigate the effect.

Source – cbc.ca

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