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BC Children’s prepared to double-bunk patients during busy respiratory illness season

B.C. emergency rooms had been seeing a peak of up to 6,900 patients daily
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks during a COVID-19 update news conference in Vancouver on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

BC Children’s Hospital has approved double-bunking patients in single-occupancy rooms as it tries to cope with an influx of patients with respiratory illnesses.

A memo obtained by The Canadian Press says that while it’s preferable that patients be in single rooms, two patients may share “if required to provide safe care.”

The memo, sent Friday, says similar measures have been implemented in other years and any decision must be made in consultation with the hospital’s infection prevention and control team.

Last week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province was seeing a “dramatic increase” in illness and it arrived sooner than the seasonal flu usually would.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said at the same time that provincial emergency rooms had been seeing a peak of up to 6,900 patients daily.

The province has been campaigning for more young children to be vaccinated against the flu.

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