Snow-related injuries flooding emergency rooms on Vancouver Island
According to Island Health, emergency departments at Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee are being pushed to capacity, Tues., Feb. 12, 2019. (CTV Vancouver Island)
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2019 12:44PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 12, 2019 2:27PM PST
Emergency rooms are being hit on two separate fronts as winter weather continues to hammer southern Vancouver Island.
According to Island Health, emergency departments at Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee are being pushed to capacity.
"We are definitely noticing a spike," Meribeth Burton with Island Health told CTV News. "We’ve notice an increase in motor vehicle related injuries, slip-and-falls and fractures."
As staff work to care for the wave of new patients, doctors, nurse and medical staff themselves are struggling with an unusual volume of snow in the Capital Region.
Island Health tells CTV News hospital staff are struggling to get to work as they grapple with the same transportation issues as the rest of the island's workforce.
But there's help available from local off-road enthusiasts. The Vancouver Island 4x4 Club is offering rides to doctors and nurses to get them to work, according to Island Health. The authority also says many staff members at both Victoria General and Royal Jubilee slept at the hospitals overnight to ensure they could make it to their shift.
On top of a dip in hospital staff, weather is also causing many walk-in clinics to shut their doors, which is adding to pressure on hospitals.
Island Health officials are asking anyone who can find a walk-in clinic, or use new Urgent Care Centres to choose those options over a trip to the ER.
Hospitals on the mid and north island are also seeing a spike in patients, but Island Health confirms Capital Region hospitals are the hardest hit.