Hospitals in the wider region coordinate their plans for increased COVID infections and more hospital stays

News 100 redBy Staff

September 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The comments made in the video that accompanied the report from the Joseph Brant hospital on how they expected to use the Pandemic Response Unit – another phrase for what is a “field hospital” – were a little on the jarring side.

field hospital - long look

Totally self contained with very high air exchange features. No television, virtual visits.

The words “expected surge” are now used commonly.  Newspaper headlines make mention of the “surge” in reported COVID-19 virus infections.  Public Health people are always asked – will there be a second wave while others answer that we are now in a second wave.

A number of months ago Eric Vandewall approved the purchase and installation of what amounted to a small hospital – a little like the convalescent hospitals we had when tuberculosis was rampant.

It didn’t get used and some thought it was a waste of money.  Vandewall knew what he was doing – being proactive in the best possible way.

The hospital produced a short video explaining how the unit – called a PRU – will be used. Worth listening to – CLICK here.

The hospitals are not as clear as they can be in explaining how the PRU – Pandemic response unit will be used.

Basically it is in place to handle COVID-19 patients that a hospital cannot accommodate.

Field hospital

It’s a short term facility. People will be there to recuperate. The structure probably has a life cycle of less than ten years – more like five.

Hospitals in Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Norfolk, Brant and Burlington (HNHNBB Region) are working together to create a regional COVID-19 model of care for COVID-19 positive patients requiring hospital care.

Together, their goal is to be ready to support the increases in COVID-19 care needs, while minimizing any potential disruption of scheduled, regional, and community care across our region.

The hope is that transmission rates in our region remain low, any increases in COVID-19 care will be managed within each of our hospitals, and that the regional COVID-19 model of care will not need to be activated.

However, creating this regional approach is critical to our pandemic response planning and ensures we are prepared for any potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

Regional COVID-19 Model of Care Strategy

Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH), and all HNHNBB’s hospital emergency departments, will care for persons under investigation for COVID-19. Patients who present to JBH, testing positive and requiring hospitalization, will be cared for at our hospital.

Four designated hospitals will be providing acute COVID-19 care:

Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton General Hospital)
Joseph Brant Hospital
Niagara Health (St. Catharines Site)
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Norfolk General Hospital and Brant Community Healthcare System will continue to provide local COVID-19 care, and may transfer COVID-19 positive patients as needed to designated hospitals.

field hospital - installed AprilPandemic Response Unit

Joseph Brant Hospital’s Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) will be the HNHNBB’s regional resource to provide care for COVID-19 patients.

The PRU is an external all-season structure designed specifically to care for stable COVID-19 positive patients who have mild to moderate symptoms.

Patients admitted to the PRU require care and support that cannot be provided at home, including oxygen therapy, medication management, monitoring of symptoms and some personal support. Support for virtual visits and engagement of family/caregivers will be provided while in the PRU.

As admitted patients who are transferred to another hospital recover from COVID-19, they will either be discharged home with community supports as needed, or they will be transferred back to their community hospital for ongoing care as soon as possible.

We are told that there are going to be more COVID infection reports – the numbers are already well above where they were in June and after the lock down.

The solution for everyone is to continue to protect yourself and others by following public health advice including  keeping the required social distance, washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask when appropriate and getting a flu shot when available.

The solution is in our hands – how serious this probable second wave turns out to be will be determined by how responsible we each are.

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