Ottawa Hospital operating over-capacity
Published Thursday, February 25, 2010 6:11PM EST
The Ottawa Hospital is operating at more than 100 per cent capacity, causing the hospital to cancel surgeries and turn some patients away.
In recent weeks, the hospital has been operating at more than 105 per cent capacity, according to a notice sent to all hospital staff and partners on Thursday.
"This high occupancy creates significant difficulties with infection control in the hospital. Therefore, in order to ensure our patients' safety, we must reduce the number of people admitted to our hospital, while at the same time providing timely emergency medical care," said the notice.
The hospital is now considering transferring patients requiring alternative levels of care to non-hospital settings, including seniors who may be better served at long-term care homes. Some non-essential surgeries will also be postponed.
However, officials insist patients who require surgery for cancer and other urgent matters will continue as usual. The cancellations aren't expected to affect any surgeries that were previously delayed.
The situation could also delay transfers and referrals from other hospitals, which will now be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Emergency departments at the Civic and General campuses remain open. However, anyone who does not require urgent care will likely face lengthy wait times.
Although the situation is being re-evaluated on a daily basis, hospital officials expect the measures to be in place until March 5.