April 2, 2021
Andre Picard in the Globe:
"...for the record, the latest models predict up to 6000 cases daily, an increase from about 2,500 currently, and a doubling of patients in intensive care to 800, from the current 421, by the end of the month....The last time Ontario started to max out its ICU capacity, there were about 3,500 cases a day...[D]espite advances in treatment, about one-third of those who end up in covid-19 intensive care end up dying."
CP24: Strategy for dealing with surge in ICU patients 'not sustainable,' infectious diseases expert says.
According the province’s latest modelling, with just one per cent case growth, there will likely be 500 COVID-19 patients in intensive care by mid-January and with three per cent case growth, ICU admissions could exceed 1,000 in less than one month.
"I know that the people working in our hospitals will do everything to help cope with this crisis. Hallways will be used to house makeshift intensive care beds, field hospitals will hold patients throughout the winter,” Brown said when speaking about the modelling data on Tuesday.
“But as we climb closer to 1,000 intensive care beds, about half of our capacity filled with COVID-19 patients in February, we will have to confront choices that no doctor ever wants to make and no family ever wants to hear.”
CBC News: Why Ontario hospitals are full to bursting, despite few COVID-19 patients
Data obtained by CBC News shows that the acute care wards of a dozen major hospitals were filled above 95 per cent of their funded capacity for more than half the days in September and early October.
Those rates significantly exceed the province's maximum occupancy target of 85 per cent. That was set earlier this year for hospitals to get the green light to resume scheduled surgeries, such as organ transplants, cancer operations and cardiac surgeries, basically halted during the pandemic's first wave.
CBC News: Some of Ontario's biggest hospitals are filled beyond capacity nearly every day, new data reveals
Overcrowding has become so common in Ontario hospitals that patient beds are now placed in hallways and conference rooms not only at times of peak demand, but routinely day after day, research by CBC News reveals.
New data obtained through a freedom of information request show the widespread extent of the province's "hallway medicine" problem, something that Premier Doug Ford has promised to end.
An exclusive analysis of the data by CBC News shows that hospital gridlock — a phenomenon that used to be restricted to surges in patients during flu season — is the new normal.
Some of Ontario's biggest hospitals were filled beyond 100 per cent occupancy nearly every day in the first half of last year.
Five hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as the main hospital in Hamilton, Sudbury, Peterborough and Niagara Falls all spent more than 160 days over their funded capacity during the 181-day period from January through June 2019
The Weather Channel: Flu 'War Zone' Cripples California Hospitals; Tents Set Up to Handle Influx of Patients
According to the Los Angeles Times, hospitals are so overwhelmed by the influx of flu patients that they have been forced to fly in nurses from out of state and are turning away ambulances. Some have set up tents in parking lots to triage the inordinate numbers of flu patients coming for care, while scheduled, voluntary surgeries are being postponed to free up resources.