Staff at Kelowna General Hospital continue to care for patients in stressful circumstances as over-crowding remains an issue at the hospital.
As of Friday, the Kelowna hospital was at 131 per cent capacity, however officials note that the capacity issue can change by the hour or by the day and stressed that the high patient numbers were not unusual for the time of the year.
As reported in the Capital News this week, care facilities across the region have been hit hard by the flu, claiming 21 lives in the region.
“An outbreak at a care facility can also mean admissions may be restricted, so we have been unable to discharge some healthy residents back to their care homes,” said Danielle Cameron, health service director, Kelowna General Hospital. “Having said that, everyone who attends the hospital is receiving the medical care they require, regardless of this increase in volume. Our staff and physicians are working extremely hard to provide safe, quality care to all hospital patients.”
Along with the outbreak of the flu, there is also gastrointestinal outbreaks happening at care facilities. Despite the increase in volume, Cameron says KGH staff are dealing with patients on a priority basis.
“It certainly is a busy time at our hospital, however, we continue to provide safe patient care and we want to reassure the public we are open and ready to care for anyone who attends hospital,” said Cameron. “We encourage anyone who is unsure of whether they need to come to hospital to connect with their primary care provider or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to speak to a medical professional.
“If a person feels they require emergency care, they are encouraged to come to the emergency department (ED). We do ask that people be patient when waiting to be seen in the ED, as people are seen and treated based on the urgency of their needs,” she added. “The general public can help by minimizing the spread of illness. This means using proper hand-washing techniques, coughing and sneezing into the crook of an arm, wiping down frequently used objects and common surfaces, and properly disposing of tissues. This can also mean staying home from work, school or social gatherings if you are feeling ill.”