Snow-related injuries, flu push Vancouver Island emergency rooms to the brink
VICTORIA -- Weather-related injuries coupled with seasonal illnesses are pushing Vancouver island's emergency rooms to their limits.
According to Island Health, every emergency room on the island is coping with above-average visitor numbers.
Added pressure is directly related to seasonal illnesses like influenza and broken bones and fall injuries because of snow, according to the coastal health authority.
“We want to reassure the public that we are open and ready to take care of anyone who shows up in need of care, and we do not turn anyone away,” said Cheryl Bloxham with Island Health.
Emergency physicians are urging anyone who is unsure if they need to call on the emergency room to first connect with a family doctor, walk-in clinic or call HealthLink.
Island Health is warning that due to patient volumes, wait times at most major emergency rooms will be longer than normal.
“We ask people to be patient when waiting to be seen in the emergency department,” Bloxham told CTV News.“Patients are seen and treated based on the urgency of their needs.”
Anyone wanting to contact HealthLink with an urgent medical question can call 811.