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Emergency wait times and occupancy pressures increase as influenza cases go up

The Ottawa Hospital asks that patients respect infection control measures and present to the Emergency Department only when necessary.

January 8, 2013 – The Ottawa Hospital is experiencing an increase of 50-60 visits to the Emergency Department (ED) each day, with the majority of these being related to influenza. We are also seeing an increase in the number of ambulance visits by approximately 20-30 per day. As a result, admissions to our inpatient units are increasing and this is leading to a higher than normal hospital occupancy. We are also aware of a number of long-term care and retirement homes that are currently in outbreak due to influenza and this is further impacting our patient flow.

High occupancy leads to longer ED wait times and longer waits for patients in the ED who require admission to a bed. While some patients may experience long waits in Emergency and other inconveniences, patients with the most serious cases will continue to be seen on an urgent basis and individuals with serious health concerns should continue to present to our Emergency Departments.

The rise in influenza cases has created a challenge, but the team at The Ottawa Hospital is working hard to adapt resources to create additional capacity. We will continue to provide the care each patient needs.

We ask patients and their families for their understanding and collaboration during this challenging time.

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