Hospitals pause some non-urgent surgeries, procedures due to COVID-19 pandemic
KITCHENER -- Grand River Hospital has temporarily paused some non-urgent elective surgeries as COVID-19 cases continue to impact the hospital.
Officials with the hospital said the surgeries have stopped for this week because the ICU is at full capacity.
"We are currently at full capacity in ICU and are experiencing a surge in COVID and non-COVID critical care patients," a statement from the hospital said in part.
Officials said they're still dealing with a backlog of surgeries from the first wave of the pandemic and they had opened an additional operation room to help manage the backlog.
They will continue to monitor critical and acute care capacity to determine when paused surgeries can start again.
Diagnostics and procedures will continue, officials said.
Amy Reese was rushed to hospital in January when she started experiencing numbness and months later, she still doesn't know why.
"They thought I was having a stroke," she said. "I went in and they said they couldn't do anything without having special testing done so I was waiting on appointments for that."
Her symptoms worsened in July and she needed to stay in the hospital overnight.
"I was supposed to have that special testing, but because of COVID, I still had no answers," Reese said. "They kept pushing back all of my tests."
She's one of many patients experiencing delays for non-urgent procedures because of the pandemic.
St. Mary's General Hospital said the number of open beds in the ICU is "fluid."
Some non-cancer elective surgeries have been postponed and booked cardiac surgeries have bene reduced by two per week as officials monitor the situation.
"Obviously those patients have waited a long time for their operations," said Dr. Francis Reinders, Wellington-Waterloo Critical Care Lead.. "We don't like to have to do that."
The hospital said it made the decision because of patients requiring COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 acute and intensive care.
As of Tuesday evening, St. Mary's said 12 of 14 beds in the medical surgical ICU, and the majority of other ICU spaces are also in use.
Cambridge Memorial Hospital said the ICU was at 92 per cent capacity as of Monday. Officials say they have a surge plan in place to increase ICU beds. They currently have 12 available and 11 are in use.
With files from CTV News Kitchener's Jeff Pickel