Burlington field hospital built for COVID-19 patients opens

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The Joseph Brant Hospital Pandemic Response Unit is preparing to receive its first COVID-19 patients this week amid escalating infections across the province.

The structure – an all-season field hospital on the Joseph Brant property and the first of its kind in Ontario – is opening in response to the increased need for COVID-19 care and pressure on hospital capacity in Burlington and beyond.

“The Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) was built to ensure that if needed, we would have additional bed capacity available to care for patients with COVID-19 – and it is now the moment, ”said Eric Vandewall, President and CEO of Joseph Brant.

This week, hospitals will begin to identify and work with patients who have progressed in their care and who may be transferred to the 73-bed PRU.

The unit can receive patients from four hospitals that provide acute care for COVID-19: Joseph Brant Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton General Hospital) and Niagara Health. All transfers will be determined based on care needs and in consultation with patients and their families.

“The Pandemic Response Unit was designed to care for patients with COVID-19 whose condition has stabilized but who require support that cannot be provided at home, such as oxygen therapy and medication. , as well as continuous monitoring of their symptoms and personal support, ”says Dr. Ian Preyra, Chief of Staff at Joseph Brant.

“The transition of these people to the PRU allows them to complete their recovery in an inpatient unit specially designed to provide the kind of care they need.

The healthcare teams working in the PRU are made up of physicians, nurses, patient care assistants, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, home and community care coordinators and more.

“Our health care system is being pushed to its limits,” said Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences and Co-Chair of IMS. “The opening of the Pandemic Response Unit is a necessary step in our continued efforts to preserve critical hospital capacity for the sickest patients. All hospitals in the region are working closely to ensure that care can be delivered safely with limited disruption to patients.

The Joseph Brant Hospital Infection Prevention and Control team participated in the design of the PRU, which features a negative pressure filtered ventilation system to safely perform treatments that could potentially generate aerosols. It also has easy-to-disinfect surfaces and other features to provide a comfortable environment for patients, like natural light, portable tables for laptops, and free Wi-Fi to connect with loved ones.

The 16,000 square foot structure was constructed last spring after the Ontario government asked hospitals to implement capacity plans at their sites. It was conceived as a collaboration between Joseph Brant Hospital, community health care providers, the City of Burlington and the Region of Halton.

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