Prince Rupert Regional Hospital has received it’s first COVID-19 transfer of patients from Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace on Jan. 7. (Nothern View file photo)

Prince Rupert Regional Hospital has received it’s first COVID-19 transfer of patients from Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace on Jan. 7. (Nothern View file photo)

Overwhelmed Mills Memorial Hospital now sending COVID-19 patients to P.R.

Northern Health said COVID-19 transfers are all part of the plan

COVID-19 patients are now being transferred to Prince Rupert Regional Hospital from Mills Memorial Hospital, with the first two arriving on Jan. 7. The Terrace hospital and staff are overwhelmed by the case numbers and have a lack of available beds in the allocated regional pandemic treatment facility.

The pandemic curve is trending upwards and it is distressing news, Eryn Collins communications manager for Northern Health told The Northern View.

“As that curve goes up, so to do the pressures on, not just our acute care resources, but on our public health resources,” Collins said. “So we really need to turn it back in the direction that we’d rather see it going.”

Mills Memorial Hospital is one of three COVID-19 emergency response centers in the Northern Health region and has been under pressure on acute care since December, Collins said. They are treating patients not just from the west, but from municipalities from the east of Terrace, such as Smithers, and also from the south.

Residents of Prince Rupert should not be alarmed by the transfers to the city’s hospital, as it is all part of the COVID-19 response plan, Collins said.

Mills Memorial has five intensive care unit beds, six infectious disease unit beds, five ventilators, and two transport ventilators. With increases of COVID-19 cases through-out the region the beds are now full, however, it must be kept in mind that the ICU beds are also required for critical medical conditions other than COVID-19, Collins said.

While Prince Rupert is not a designated COVID-19 hospital, it does have a dedicated area where patients affected by the virus can be placed in a cohort and treated.

“Prince Rupert Regional Hospital does have the capability to ventilate for a limited period of time,” Collins said.

“So part of our COVID planning was making it very clear to people that all of our sites, including Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, had identified areas where if need be, they would be able to care for and manage COVID positive patients relative to the hospital’s level of care.”

Hospitals in Terrace, Prince George, and Fort St. John were identified as the primary COVID-19 treatment sites because they have a higher level of care available than other hospitals in the north.

“If the patient required a higher level of care, then the system activates, to transfer those patients to (a facility) based on their care needs, but also based on what capacity exists.”

“Each of our hospitals has that ability and that capacity. They’re all part of this provincial plan that’s been in place since very early on in the pandemic.”

“We have confirmed previously that we’ve transferred patients not only between our own Northern Health hospitals because they do have varying levels of care but also to other health regions of BC. That potential has existed and still exists because of where we are with our current COVID cases and hospitalizations,” Collins said.

In a December statement, Nothern Health said across all of the hospitals in the region there are 41 critical care ‘base’ beds, and an additional 23 ‘surge’ critical care beds (surge capacity can be scaled up or down, depending on need).

“There approximately 100 ventilators available to support critical care, including transport ventilators (this number is approximate as additional ventilators continue to arrive and are put into service). All NH sites have transport ventilators; there is also a provincial supply of ventilators that can be deployed to areas of need.”


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Prince Rupert lawyer, Donald A. Silversides has been appointed to the BC Liberals Election Organizing Committee, announced the party on Jan 21. (Contributed photo)
Don Silversides appointed to BC Liberal election organizing committee

Prince Rupert lawyer is the current BC Liberals acting president

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

Most Read