Edmonton ICU doctor says his unit is ‘full to the brim,’ spike partly due to COVID-19

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Zygun called staffing with the specially-trained medical team, not beds, his zone’s “biggest challenge.” He said staff normally take vacations this time of year and outbreaks in hospitals have required staff to isolate while contact tracing is done.

Zygun said officials meet multiple times a day to identify where pressure points are.

“We try to protect the areas that we’re having trouble staffing, or can’t take additional (patients) and put the patient where the resources are,” he said.

While the system is under stress, Zygun said he is not considering restrictions like shutting down elective surgeries again.

“Thankfully, we’re not there today or we’re not planning it in the short term,” he said. “But to say that the system is stressed in finding the staffing would be valid at this point in time.”

He said staff have worked during capacity strains before and patients are not being put at risk.

“To say that this is routine would not be fair, but we do deal with capacity strain at other times whether it be through flu season (or) busy trauma seasons like we’re seeing. So we’re certainly experienced in this,” he said.

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