Here's how Sask. health care services could be impacted if ICU numbers continue rising
REGINA -- Saskatchewan's health care system could see "significant slowdowns" if ICU numbers keep rising, according to information from a Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) physician town hall.
During the town hall, data showed the province’s total ICU capacity is slowly pushing towards the red zone, which would see 116 to 150 patients in the ICU and force significant service slowdowns.
As of April 22, 94 people were in ICU across Saskatchewan.
If the province reached that level, the SHA states the ratio of staff to patients would be "significantly altered," non-traditional ICU staff would be utilized, service slowdowns and cancellations would occur and triage would be widely applied.
"We're still in the top three for active case rates in the country and I think we’ve normalized a bad situation,” Dr. John Froh, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Pandemic for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said.
While describing the situation, Dr. Froh brought up the struggles of health care workers in Regina’s ICUs.
"What their staff is reporting and what our leaders are reporting it seems like a disaster zone, you know it's controlled chaos but it literally feels like a disaster," he said.
As of Saturday, there were 51 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, with 34 in Regina.
"My big worry is that we are going to head into needing to triage who gets ICU, and I think so much about what that means for us a healthcare system, what that means for me as a physician and what does that mean for our team. What's that going to do to us long-term?” Dr. Susan Shaw, Chief Medical Officer for the SHA said during the meeting.
While the dangers of the virus are concerning, the ramifications of both parents dying from the disease is causing families to be torn apart.
"It struck me today, that one of the themes is we're seeing orphans from COVID-19.” Dr. Froh said. “I think that's really horrible. “