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Elective surgical procedures to be temporarily postponed

Posted Oct 27th, 2009

Niagara, On: Niagara Health System (NHS) is postponing some elective surgeries at its three large sites over the next several days due to the impact the high influenza-like activity is having on hospital services and staff.

All emergency surgeries, cancer cases and other surgeries that could potentially affect the patients’ outcome if delayed are proceeding. All procedures that are temporarily postponed are being rebooked.

“We appreciate that the postponement of a surgical procedure can be stressful and difficult for patients and their families,” says Anne Atkinson, Vice President Patient Services. “We do our best to minimize the postponement of surgeries but unfortunately this is not always possible due to a number of factors.” “By temporarily closing one Operating Room at each of these three sites, we will be able to redeploy nursing staff to other areas in the hospital to help our other nurses who are dealing with the increase in both patient volumes and the number of colleagues calling in sick,” says Anne.

“We have put a number of measures into place to manage the increase in patients coming to our Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centres with flu-like symptoms and respiratory illnesses,” adds Anne. “This increased activity is creating a ripple effect for services throughout the hospital.”

As the situation evolves with the prevalence of flu-like symptoms and respiratory illness in our region, the hospital will reassess on a daily basis the need to postpone elective surgeries.

Most of the patients NHS is seeing with flu-like illnesses are not critically ill. In most cases, these types of patients are treated and discharged and have not required hospitalization.

For more information, contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System