With in-hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19 continuing to rise at an alarming rate and a potentially critical shortage of available acute care beds, including critical care beds, Windsor Regional Hospital has made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone ALL non-urgent, pre-scheduled elective surgeries for an indefinite period, effective January 4th, 2021.
This includes day surgeries, which had continued following a reduction in services announced on December 11th, 2020. WRH will continue to perform surgeries for emergencies and urgent surgeries deemed priorities by the surgical team. Cancer surgeries will continue to be prioritized.
Overall, the decision amounts to an approximate 50% reduction in surgical volumes.
"The current situation with COVID-19 in our hospital and in our community is creating significant implications for our hospital and our ICU bed occupancy, as well as human resource limitations given the need to support services outside the Operating Rooms and/or hospital," said WRH Chief of Staff Dr. Wassim Saad, noting the additional pressure on staffing resources for the two COVID-19 Assessment Centres and the vaccination centre at the St. Clair College Sportsplex.
As of Sunday, December 27, 2020, we will be running the COVID-19 vaccination centre seven days a week, focusing on the priority populations set by the Province. We are also planning to expand the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at the Met campus to match the days and hours of operation of the Ouellette COVID-19 Assessment Centre. We will announce the date that these additional hours at the Met site as soon as that date is confirmed.
Surgeons are being asked to review their elective cases that they had booked from January 4th and to contact booked patients to inform them of the postponement.
This announcement follows a previous decision announced December 11th to postpone non-urgent, elective surgeries which require a bed/overnight stay. With today's announcement, day surgeries - those where a patient can go home the same day as the procedure - are also being postponed effective January 4th.
"We will continue to reassess our capacity for surgeries based on volumes on a regular basis," said Dr. Wassim Saad, WRH Chief of Staff. "We are doing our best to keep bed capacity available as our patient volumes increase during the second wave of this COVID-19 pandemic, while also conserving our hospital resources for the most urgent needs."
Please visit WRH online for more information on how WRH is working to protect the public from the unnecessary transmission of COVID-19, including COVID-19 Assessment Centre and visitor restrictions.
1995 Lens Avenue, Windsor, ON N8W 1L9
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON N9A 1E1