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OSMH taking steps to make sure it has enough ventilators, beds during pandemic

Hospital also considering relocating alternate-level-of-care patients to long-term care homes
2018-10-12 Seniors Day ODAS Park 3
Carmine Stumpo, president and CEO of Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital. Nathan Taylor/OrilliaMatters file photo

Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is taking measures to ensure there is an adequate supply of ventilators and beds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital has eight intensive care unit beds, all of which are equipped with ventilators, noted president and CEO Carmine Stumpo. Other devices in the hospital can be “repurposed,” he added, which could increase the number of ventilators.

“That will allow us to have assisted breathing for 20 patients at one time,” he said.

Through regional partnerships, OSMH would have the ability to bring more ventilators in if necessary.

“Our goal is never to have to get there,” Stumpo said.

The cancellation of elective surgeries will also free up some resources and equipment, including beds, and OSMH has contingency plans for where to place patients, he said.

“We’re working with our community partners to ensure we discharge as many patients as possible,” he said. “We are generating capacity in our system.”

One potential way of doing that is by relocating alternate-level-of-care (ALC) patients to long-term care homes in the area — a move that’s being made at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie.

An ALC patient, according to the province, is someone who is occupying an acute care hospital bed but not acutely ill or does not require the intensity of resources or services provided in a hospital setting; typically, it's a patient who is waiting to be moved into a long-term care facility.

“We are considering it,” Stumpo said. “It’s a very viable way to create capacity quickly.”

The number of ALC patients at OSMH fluctuates, but there are currently about 20. Stumpo said the hospital is working with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to look at options for relocating those patients.