The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is sounding the alarm about a high number of admissions to ICUs across the province, saying the critical care system is reaching its “saturation point.”
In a recent 48-hour period, the OHA says 74 people were admitted to intensive care units for “COVID-related” reasons.
The group says this is “well beyond the threshold after which hospitals can operate normally.” They also say hospitals will have problems ensuring equitable access to care if these trends continue.
“In this third wave, we are facing a different kind of pandemic,” writes the OHA in a Friday statement. “The B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the United Kingdom is taking over, with a much quicker doubling time and more serious health effects for younger populations.”
“Patients are arriving at the hospital younger and sicker than in previous waves, and they require more care,” they continued. “Because there is only one critical care system treating both COVID and non-COVID patients, this increased demand puts everyone at risk.”
They say further disruptions to scheduled surgeries is “likely.”
In the coming days, the OHA says Ontario will likely surpass the current record-high of 420 COVID-19 patients in intensive care.
As of Friday, the province says 359 people with COVID-19 are in intensive care units. Around 0.9 per cent of all cases so far in Ontario have been admitted to the ICU at some point during their illness.