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B.C. may move hospital patients to free up beds ahead of projected COVID, flu surge – Peace Arch News

B.C. hospitals will soon be taking a stricter approach to who occupies its beds, as the province warns of a possible surge in influenza and COVID-19 patients.

Provincial projections suggest hundreds more people could require hospitalization between mid-November and January, when the flu season and newest COVID wave are expected to converge.

Specifically, up to 700 additional COVID patients – compared to about 350 currently – and 1,200 influenza patients could require hospital beds over the coming months, according to the province. This surge in demand could begin as soon as mid-November, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who says data from the Southern Hemisphere shows influenza is hitting earlier than normal this season.

The numbers are just initial estimations, but the province says it is preparing hospitals for the worst case scenario nonetheless.

Beginning in early October, the province will begin identifying lower-priority patients who could be transferred out of hospital if beds are needed. It says there are currently about 1,300 people who could be cared for in the community, and another 500 who are awaiting care home placement.

There will also be new efficiencies in who is admitted to hospital in the first place, with the creation of an operational task group. The province says the group, along with bed management teams, will ensure only those who need a hospital bed are using one. Air ambulance teams will be used to expedite transfers when needed, the province says.

If those measures aren’t enough, the province says it will have a system in place for reducing emergency services and postponing surgeries.

More to come.


@janeskrypnek
jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca

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B.C. may move hospital patients to free up beds ahead of projected COVID, flu surge – Peace Arch News Source link B.C. may move hospital patients to free up beds ahead of projected COVID, flu surge – Peace Arch News

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