B.C. health-care: Surrey hospital ‘overrun’ as kids get hallway medicine


The surge in sick kids has B.C.’s Surrey Memorial Hospital seeing quadruple as many sufferers as their emergency division was designed for, and 100 extra kids per day than final yr – making it one of many busiest pediatric items within the nation.

Much of the eye throughout the fall spike in respiratory viruses amongst kids has been directed at BC Children’s Hospital, the place they activated an emergency division overflow on Tuesday, however Surrey is dealing with a way more critical state of affairs.

“The pediatric ER has been overrun for a while now and we have expanded into the adult side, where right now we’re using two treatment beds,” mentioned Dr. Randeep Gill, an emergency doctor at SMH.

“We’re seeing approximately 250 kids per day during the surge but it was built for 72 patient visits per day.”

Gill says with solely 12 therapy rooms within the emergency division, they’re treating sufferers “wherever we can”, with kids ready in hallways and a few scientific assessments going down within the ready room. There are solely 16 beds for admission for in a single day therapy.

BC Children’s Hospital has 35 therapy rooms of their emergency division and are seeing solely 165 kids per day.

CTV News has spoken with quite a few hospitalist pediatricians in current weeks who all describe seeing extra extreme sickness in kids this yr than typical for the autumn respiratory season. Gill agrees, and revealed they should resuscitate a few of these kids.

“(Resuscitation) happens very frequently here,” he mentioned of the hospital’s pediatric emergency division.

“The number one cause of cardiac death is respiratory failure. When the lungs are infected by a virus, children do decompensate the fastest from respiratory failure so we’re seeing a significant number of those cases as well.”


Severely sick kids require in a single day care and generally even prolonged care within the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), which has led to the cancellation of scheduled surgical procedures for different kids, together with these with life-threatening situations.

Some kids who want non-emergency medical therapy are getting squeezed out of hospital as the system seems to be failing all however essentially the most critical instances.

“She’s suffering,” a mother CTV News is figuring out solely as Janice mentioned about her daughter, who’d been ready to see a health care provider within the BCCH emergency division for greater than 5 hours. Photos of the kid present a large abscess protruding from her cranium and braided hair.

“We went to Surrey Memorial yesterday, after we’d been there the day before and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her,” mentioned Janice, whose youngster was working a fever. “The day before, we’d been and they sent us home at 3 a.m. because there was no bed there, no bed in Abbotsford, no bed in (BC) Children’s Hospital.”

Both mom and youngster had been exhausted, and Janice was emotional as she mentioned “it’s frustrating because I just need help for her. I’m tired of going to the hospital over and over.”


Despite an inside memo calling the inflow of younger sufferers a “surge storm” of sickness, the manager director of scientific operations for BCCH downplayed the state of affairs, calling their affected person load “pretty normal seasonally.”

When CTV News identified 12 hour waits have develop into regular, which wasn’t the case earlier than, Christy Hay recommended a brand new digital data system with public reporting made these waits extra noticeable, however acknowledged that system was additionally slowing down the method for healthcare employees. 

Hay initially mentioned that there are 55 care areas within the BCCH emergency division, however when pressed admitted that “we operate about 35 of those clinical care spaces right now with current staffing.”

Of the emergency division overflow, she referred to as it a “satellite clinic that we’re staffing with our pediatricians and nursing staff” for much less pressing instances, and when requested why they’re seeing so few sufferers in comparison with SMH with extra sources, she claimed the affected person wants usually are not the identical.

“We are seeing a lot of higher acuity patients,” mentioned Hay. “We definitely take patients from other hospitals, because we are the only level 1 trauma centre for pediatrics in the province and we’re the only quaternary hospital for BC.”

But that’s an issue that’s been the reason for a lot consternation south of the Frase. The Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation has been monitoring funding and says on a per capita foundation, Vancouver Coastal Health residents see $3,033 per particular person versus simply $2,229 in Fraser Health. 

“(Surrey Memorial Hospital’s pediatric unit) used to have 24 funded overnight beds and that’s decreased to 16 now. So, a lot of the critically ill children, we have to send them out to BC Children’s Hospital,” mentioned Gill. “It’s extremely frustrating to see that we are the fastest-growing city, but we are not able to take care of our kids in our city.”


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