Lakeshore General Hospital’s ER to be avoided as capacity stretched thin

Patients seeking care in Montreal’s West Island are asked to avoid the Lakeshore General Hospital’s emergency room until further notice.

The CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the regional health authority, issued a statement Sunday saying it was dealing with an ER at 132 per cent capacity.

There also outbreaks of the novel coronavirus on some of its units and staff shortages at the hospital, according to the regional health authority.

“Although the outbreaks are under control, measures must be taken to reduce the pressure on the emergency room and clinical teams,” the CIUSSS said.

Read more: Quebec reports 1,691 new COVID-19 cases, 24 additional deaths linked to virus

The situation at the Lakeshore General Hospital is “worrying” and requires action, according to the health authority’s CEO.

“While we have been facing the impacts of the second wave of the pandemic for several weeks now, we must do everything to continue to provide quality care to our users,” Lynne McVey said in a statement.

The West Island nurses’ union warns the situation over the weekend was “unsafe” at the hospital but says it has since stabilized.

Elizabeth Rich, who works with the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec, said the Lakeshore General Hospital was dealing with 53 patients on stretchers in the ER on Saturday evening — when the capacity is 31.

“The employer moved and called managers to come to work,” she said.

Read more: Lakeshore General Hospital’s emergency department in ‘critical’ condition, union says

In the meantime, the CIUSSS is asking patients who are seeking an emergency room are asked to go to other hospitals.

People who need minor medical help can visit a medical clinic, contact their family doctor or contact the Info-Santé 811 line for any questions, the regional health authority said.

Those who have an appointment at the Lakeshore are still encouraged to go to their appointments or to call their health-care professional.

— With files from Global News’ Anne Leclair

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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