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Regular surgical schedule resumes tomorrow

Posted Nov 11th, 2009

Niagara, On:  Niagara Health System (NHS) is returning to the regular surgical schedule effective Thursday, November 12, with the exception of pediatric day surgical cases.

“Postponing a surgical procedure is not something that we take lightly, appreciating the burden that this delay can place on our patients and their families,” says Anne Atkinson, Vice President Patient Services. “We truly regret that we had to cancel surgeries, but it was absolutely necessary to respond to the increase we were seeing in the number of patients requiring hospital treatment and the number of staff calling in sick.”

Planning is underway to rebook the postponed cases as soon as possible using a priority system based on the patients’ medical needs.

Pediatric day surgeries will resume the week of November 17. This is contingent on the availability of pediatric inpatient beds, which have been in high demand due to the admission of children which flu or respiratory illness.

All elective surgeries were postponed on November 4. However, emergency surgeries, cancer cases and other surgeries that could have potentially affected the patients’ outcome if delayed went ahead. 

Emergency Rooms/Urgent Care Centres

NHS continues to see an increase in the number of patients coming to our Emergency Rooms (ER) and Urgent Care Centres (UCC), up nine percent overall yesterday as compared to the daily average in September; 558 patients yesterday compared to the September daily average of 512.

An additional 27 patients were seen yesterday in the NHS Flu Assessment Centre, for a 14 percent overall increase of ER, Urgent Care and Flu Assessment Centre visits. Of the 585 patients seen in the ERs, UCCs and Flu Assessment Centre, 35 percent of patients, or 207 patients, presented with flu symptoms.

Flu Assessment Centre

The Flu Assessment Centre operated by NHS will remain open until Sunday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m.

Since opening on November 2 at the Ontario Street Site in St. Catharines, this centre has treated a total of 369 patients, helping to take some of the pressure off the ERs and Urgent Care Centres by redirecting patients with mild flu symptoms to the centre. This past week, the number of patients coming to the Flu Assessment Centre has been on the decline.

The Flu Assessment Centre is for people with mild symptoms of flu. For serious cases, we are asking the public to go to their nearest ER or call 911.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

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

Niagara Health System