“It’s a surprise”: Doctors still waiting for fear of advancing COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across Canada


They settled for the worse, a huge flood of critically ill patients who strained resources and led to desperate choices about how to maintain care.

Doctors, nurses and other staff in intensive care units across the country are also concerned about their own safety due to the lack of protective equipment.

But perhaps surprisingly, some ICU doctors in the poorest provinces say they have never faced fear of an influx of coronaviruses.

So far, at least, there have been no floods and there are many beds available at the ICU.

As of Friday, the latest report from Ontario’s intensive care system showed that only two additional coronavirus patients had been admitted to the ICU in the province. Despite the treatment of more than 530 confirmed or possibly COVID-19 people, almost 78% of the province’s expanded care capacity remained free.

Quebec has had an average of eight to 10 admissions to the COVID-19 intensive care unit in recent days, and none in all from April 7 to 8, Dr. Frédérick D’aragon of the Université de Sherbrooke, spokesperson for his province for critical Canada. Care of society.

We changed all of our schedules, our intensive care schedule three weeks ago, to call

“In my center, we still have a lot of empty beds in the ICU,” said D’Aragon on Thursday. “It was a surprise. We changed all of our schedules, our intensive care schedule three weeks ago, to call. We have canceled all teaching classes, all other administrative tasks … Right now, I’m at home. It’s not what we expected. “

At Sunnybrook Health Science Center in Toronto, which treats the first known COVID-19 patient in Canada, nobody accepts anything, but the intensive care unit is certainly not overloaded, Dr. Gordon Rubenfeld, Critical Care Critical Care. The.

“Is Sunnybrook stressed by the number of COVID patients now?” … “I would say” No “,” he said. I was cautiously optimistic that we would not see the giant influx and the nightmare that we saw in Italy and New York. . “

Critical care physicians are quick to add caveats – the worst of which may still occur, and even the slow daily buildup of COVID-19 patients – who often spend weeks on a ventilator – intensive care can gradually fill and weigh the system.

“Within a month, we might be suffering from the not-so-great push they see in New York, but it’s usually a very slow fill basin,” said Rubenfeld.

And the fact that each new intensive care patient is treated like a PUI – a person under investigation – means that staff must always provide protective equipment, a stressful and time-consuming process, he said.

Doctors also point out that it is very important that people follow the instructions to stay at home, which they say limits the number of patients.

But the ban on exclusive scenes in Canada’s intensive care units seems to still offer a ray of hope, especially after the federal government’s publication on modeling on Thursday predicted that 11,000 COVID-19s would be killed in the best cases.

And while statistics on the total number of positive tests for the disease vary depending on the number of tests performed by a province, data on critically ill patients admitted to hospital and intensive care seem to offer a more reliable barometer of the severity and trajectory of the epidemic.

“I hope we can see a slow trick with this concept of curve curvature,” said Dr. Michael Detsky of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. “We will always see patients gain admission to our intensive care unit, but not the push as we saw for the first time in Wuhan, then in Italy, Iran, Spain, New York – and now in other cities in the United States. “

Doctors say they don’t know exactly why they haven’t seen more cases, but they are signaling to the masses the social security measures still in place and the cancellation of thousands of thousands of elective surgeries freeing them up space.

A detailed report on critical care admissions in Ontario obtained clues from the National Post on positive trends. It includes both proven and suspected cases of coronavirus and shows a April 2 high point of 538 possible COVID-19 carriers in intensive care. The number has remained between around 500 and 535 since then, from a total number of ICU patients to 1,321 on Thursday.

And nearly 78% of the province’s ventilation capacity – increased to try to meet pandemic demand – is still available, according to the document from Critical Care Services Ontario.

Quebec reports just under 200 COVID-19 patients in ICU on Friday, with an increased capacity of 1,000 intensive care units available, said D’Aragon.

Meanwhile, the total number of patients admitted to hospitals seems to be growing faster in Quebec than the number of intensive care in particular, he said.

On average, nearly 50 COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed patients per day were admitted to hospital in the past week and a half.

It also exists in Ontario. An average of about 50 COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed patients per day have been admitted to hospital in the past week and a half, according to government figures.

After Quebec and Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta have the highest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus. At B.C. the intensive care representative could not be reached for comment. But an Alberta doctor suggested by intensive care units has yet to experience a large increase.

“We are very fortunate in Calgary not to be too narrow,” said Dr. Tom Stelfox, chief of intensive care medicine at the University of Calgary, in an email. “The number of patients we care for in the intensive care units in Calgary has been managed and has given us valuable experience in caring for these patients.”


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