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Ontario child with pneumonia waits nearly 40 hours in emergency room

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A 4-year-old with Down syndrome spent nearly 40 hours in an Ontario emergency room after collapsing with a severe respiratory illness. The mother calls this “totally ridiculous” and “unacceptable.”

Around 2:30 am on November 9, Jasmine, who lives in Woodbridge, Ontario, said she called 911.

CTV News Toronto agreed to use only her first name to protect Jasmine’s identity.

The pair were taken to Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, a new facility that will open to patients in 2021. Specifically in pediatrics.

“It didn’t take long before we started triage,” Jasmine told CTV News Toronto by phone. She said, “I think she saw a doctor about an hour after coming (to the emergency department).”

But that’s when Jasmine said the process had slowed. I was told I had to.

Around 8:00 am, I moved from the inspection area to the corridor and waited for about 4 to 5 hours.

“She was tired and really sleepy. There was no place to lie down, so I had to make a bed for her with two chairs and some blankets,” said Jasmine. rice field. She said her nurse took care of her daughter during this time, including when she vomited on her floor.

When another staff member saw the makeshift bed, the family moved into a room shared with another teenager. said.

At this point, her daughter’s oxygen levels were dropping, she says.

“They had to put a mask over her face,” Jasmine said. ”

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that particularly affects young children.Ann Sickness on the rise across Canadain addition to increasing cases of influenza and COVID-19, contributing to an overloaded healthcare system, especially in pediatric hospitals.

Upon learning of the diagnosis, Jasmine said she and her daughter were moved to another room within the emergency department and eventually the child was given a bed.

Around 6:00 pm on November 10, about 40 hours after the first 911 call, the family was moved to a bed in the general ward of the hospital.

“At some point I thought, ‘This is ridiculous,’ so I asked them to take me to SickKids (hospital). .”

Children’s hospitals in Ontario are reporting a significant increase in cases due to respiratory viruses. SickKids said earlier this month It said it was deferring some surgical procedures to “maintain critical care capacity.”

In a November 11 statement, the hospital said its ICU census had exceeded capacity by at least 127% for several days.

Ontario has a total of 112 children’s intensive care beds.

“Overcrowded is an understatement”

Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital is a $1.7 billion facility opening in February 2021 under Mackenzie Health. With about 350 beds, the hospital is “home to specialty programs such as women and children, inpatient mental health, and inpatient stroke,” according to its website.

Jasmine said staff responded quickly and worked continuously, but the hospital felt “chaotic” with too many patients to handle.

“My heart was honestly in my hands the whole time I was there,” she said. “It’s not the doctor’s responsibility. It’s not the nurse’s. If I had that job, I would quit.”

She was told that there appeared to be many staff members who were students and that she could not make decisions about caring for her child.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Mackenzie Health said the company’s emergency department and urgent care center were “seeing more patients than ever before.”

“We are operating at capacity and many of the people who come to us for care are very sick. The number of children is also increasing,” they said.

“We are doing our best to triage patients as quickly as possible. Initially, we aim to see patients within two hours, and on average we have been able to maintain that, but unfortunately we are seeing longer days these days. Occasionally, patients may need medical imaging scans or blood tests sent to the lab, but these take time and can cause what feels like a long wait. I have.”

Mackenzie Health also said many are requiring hospitalization as patients are “getting sicker”, leading to longer wait times for inpatient care.

“We’ve increased capacity on the pediatrics ward, but now the emergency department serves as a burgeoning space when more children need care than there are beds available. At times, it exceeded 250% of our pediatric bed capacity,” they said.

“Long waits and caring for patients in temporary surge spaces is not the experience we want our patients to have, but it is a reality now.”

Ontario emergency room wait times have been reached Record high for Septemberpatients spend an average of 21.3 hours waiting to be admitted.

The state’s Liberal Party even called the month “the worst September on record going back to 2008.”

Health Secretary Sylvia Jones told CTV News Toronto that the government is “always in touch” with children’s hospitals to ensure patients get the care they need. She also said hospitals have been directed to use adult hospital capacity to support pediatric units.

“We have taken the Team Ontario approach and expanded our hospital capacity across the board by adding over 3,500 new critical care, acute and post-acute hospital beds,” said Jones. said Tuesday.

“We know the number of patients in the emergency department is increasing year by year. We are not satisfied with the status quo. We’ve opened up beds statewide and expanded our model of 911 care to address wait times.”

Jasmine said concrete action needs to be taken not only to reduce wait times, but to ease the burden on overworked medical professionals.

“40 hours in the ER was absolutely ridiculous for a 4 year old. It’s unacceptable.”

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