Enough to make you sick - hospital goes over capacity

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Nurses at the Cornwall Community Hospital check on a patient. The hospital is operating at 126 per cent capacity.

CORNWALL, Ontario - A spike in flu, gastro and pneumonia in Cornwall has led to an explosion in the number of people seeking treatment at the hospital.

In a new release Tuesday the Cornwall Community Hospital suggested its occupancy rate is at 126 per cent.

The spike is being linked to an increase in emergency room visits thanks to cases of influenza, gastroenteritis, and pneumonia, coupled with some doctors offices being closed.

"The strain on our resources, both financial and human, is significant," said Jeanette Despatie, chief executive officer. "We are fortunate to have staff across the entire organization who work extra shifts and hours to ensure patient needs are met."

CCH is the largest community hospital within the Champlain LHIN, outside of Ottawa.

Strategies to mitigate the overflow of patients include accommodating some in the hallway, transferring others, and cancelling some surgeries as a last resort, to free up the surgical beds. Once acute care services are no longer required, discharge plans are made to free up the bed as quickly as possible.

The acute care occupancy rate at CCH is well over 100 per cent, with a daily average of 14 admitted patients in the emergency department, waiting for a bed.

Since the beginning of January, there have been 18 unfunded beds opened.

Organizations: Cornwall Community Hospital

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario, Ottawa

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