As the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate, New Brunswick ICU departments “may be in trouble,” says Acting Horizon Health Network Executive Director Dr. John Dornan.
At a regular board meeting, Dornan warned that the ICU’s capacity was “on the brink” and that only 16-18 beds of the 98 remained within the health authority.
Dornan painted a stark picture for the blackboard.
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COVID-19 cases have reached more than 100 in the past three days, with deaths occurring every day but one in the past week. Hospitalizations continue to increase.
As of October 6, Horizon said it had 49 non-COVID patients occupying ICU beds. Another 13 were COVID patients in the ICU, leaving 36 beds available.
Global News requested updated numbers on Saturday, but the health authority has not yet updated those numbers.
“We don’t have many beds,” Dornan said Friday. “We are close to the edge. What do we do when we get to that? We started looking at the postoperative recovery areas because they are critical care areas and we put staff in those areas to help increase our capacity in the ICU. “
Said it’s a challenge, but felt they could handle it.
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It was because of that challenge that Dornan said they were moving to the red level within hospitals on October 12, meaning that all non-essential services will either be greatly reduced or canceled altogether.
“That is an indication of how concerned we are,” he said. “Our ICUs are at their best.”
He said that the health authority not only looks at the beds, but also the personnel resources, the equipment that is available, and said that they are also decreasing.
“Yes, we are concerned. This is one of the reasons why we are moving towards the red to decrease the demand for our resources, ”he said.
They are also looking to move those resources to make COVID units as non-essential services are phased out.
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Vitalite Health Network also said its overall capacity rate is 91.5 percent, which is 11.5 percent above target capacity.
There are 142 ICU beds throughout the province, 44 of which are in Vitalite. As of Friday, 28 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, 15 in the ICU.
The healthy authority also said that 40 employees are self-isolating due to COVID-19. Vitalite will also go to the red tier on October 11.
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