‘On the brink of being overwhelmed’: Two more Manitoba ICU patients transferred to Ontario

WINNIPEG — The number of people who have been transferred to Ontario from Manitoba ICUs is now at five.

Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health, confirmed five people from Manitoba have been moved to hospitals in Ontario, including Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.

She said two of the patients were moved Thursday night.

Siragusa also said 10 people were moved to ICUs yesterday.

“We need to be able to make sure we are stable to manage the incoming flow of those long-stay patients. So it’s this that is creating the additional capacity and pressure on our system and the partnership with Ontario really gives us an opportunity to increase capacity,” Siragusa said.

Siragusa is calling on Manitobans to stay home this weekend to help protect the health-care system.

“Our health-care system is on the brink of being overwhelmed. The contingency plans are being triggered and people are tired,” she said.

As of Friday, there are 236 people in hospital with active COVID-19 and another 60 who are no longer infectious but still require care.

There are also 56 people in ICU with COVID-19 and another 23 in intensive care who are no longer infectious.

Siragusa said in total, 129 people are in ICU, which includes the 79 dealing with COVID.

“The high number of ICU admissions this week, combined with the low number of patients who are transferrable out of the unit onto medical units has compelled us to enact a number of different contingency plans to quickly increase critical care capacity.”

She said more critical care beds are being made available, bringing the total to 140, which she says is almost double the pre-COVID capacity limit.

Siragusa added that over the long weekend a hybrid unit will be activated at the Health Sciences Centre.

“(It) will support COVID stable patients in a combined pediatric and adult medical ICU. Work is ongoing to ensure that we have appropriate staffing resources in place across the province over the weekend.”

The top nurse also noted that surgical procedures will need to be reduced to move staff and also free up beds.

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