Dr. Susan Shaw says that people in Saskatchewan are dying from a disease that is largely preventable.
Shaw made the statement when the Saskatchewan Health Authority says it continues to grapple with an increase in COVID-19 patients.
“I work in the ICU and it is already heartbreaking to see people die from a disease that is largely preventable,” Shaw, SHA’s director of medical health, said during a conference call Thursday.
“And to add to that pain, any need to make life-saving care decisions for all Saskatchewan residents just builds and adds to that tragedy.”
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The health authority said it also continues to implement a total slowdown of all elective procedures without delay.
Derek Miller said the health care system could serve 125 intensive care patients and 350 acute care patients in the coming weeks.
“Right now we know that more than 70 percent of our ICU beds are being used to treat a single preventable disease: COVID,” Miller, the commander of the emergency operations center, said during a conference call Thursday.
“And at the same time, we must ensure that we have 50 ICU beds staffed to care for patients who do not have COVID and are not in control of needing critical care.”
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Miller said that as part of the surge capacity, 58 adult drug beds have been added to the system – 36 in Saskatoon and 22 in Regina.
Shaw said the number of hospitalizations is increasing rapidly.
As of Wednesday, 265 COVID patients were being treated at the hospital, 56 of whom were in intensive care.
“People who have chosen to remain unvaccinated are six times more likely to test positive, six times more likely to be hospitalized and 12 times more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit,” Shaw said.
“More than 70 percent of our ICU patients are admitted fighting for their lives with a single preventable diagnosis: severe COVID pneumonia with lung failure.”
Shaw asked people to get vaccinated and said the health care system could handle the lawsuits if eligible people received both doses.
“Instead, we are facing a slowdown in service … and this is having a real impact on the quality of life and health of many in this region, and it will result in real harm,” he said.
“But worse, if this continues, the life-saving supports that all Saskatchewan citizens depend on will be in jeopardy.”
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