‘Our hospital is swamped’: Kelowna hospital cancelling some surgeries due to COVID patient spike

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) – Kelowna’s struggle to control a COVID-19 outbreak has forced the hospital to cancel surgeries, as beds fill up with patients who have the virus, most of whom are unvaccinated.

Interior Health has confirmed to local media some elective surgeries are being rescheduled or cancelled. However, some of the procedures, while not emergency, could be life saving.

Cancer specialist Dr. Gareth Eason says one of his patients had his cancer surgery cancelled because there just isn’t enough beds.

“I feel awful for my patient whose whipple tomorrow is cancelled for lack of beds as well as the other patients adversely affected,” Eason posted to Twitter. “Our hospital is swamped with COVID patients, almost entirely unvaccinated.”

 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed Tuesday some of the surgery delays are a result of health care workers getting sick.

On Tuesday, B.C. recorded another 395 COVID-19 cases, 187 of which were in Interior Health. It was the first time in weeks the region recorded less than half of the daily cases.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations continue to rise, with 71 patients as of Tuesday. The number is a 37 per cent increase over 52 hospitalizations recorded on Friday. Of those, 23 people are in the ICU, up from 20 on Friday.

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On Friday, Henry announced more restrictions for the Central Okanagan region, including limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, due to the spike in COVID-19 cases The region, which includes Kelowna, saw some restrictions imposed July. 28, however rising numbers prompted the province to bring in more.

Kelowna nurse Katie Bosscher also expressed her frustration with people who are still not taking the pandemic seriously. In an Instagram post uploaded last week, she shows the mask, face shield, gloves, hair net, and full-body gown she has to wear to work every day.

“Numbers are increasing. Again. Most have been or will be going to ICU due to increased oxygen demands and the need for high flow oxygen. Many are young and many are unvaccinated,” she wrote. “We have an overwhelming amount of sick calls for nurses who are burnt out and exhausted. We are doing are best and most days it doesn’t feel like enough.

She urged those who can to get vaccinated.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CSBD9oRLPj9/

On Monday, B.C. announced it is reducing the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses to 28 days.

The wait between doses had already cut down to 28 days in the Central Okanagan, which has been leading the surge in cases in B.C. Elsewhere, the previous interval was 49 days.

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