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Nova Scotia Health activates provincial escalation plan to increase ICU capacity

So far fewer than five intensive care patients have been transferred from the Central Zone to ICUs in the Northern and Western zones
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Nova Scotia Health logo

Nova Scotia Health has activated its provincial escalation plan to increase intensive care bed capacity in response to a surge this week of patients requiring the highest level of care.

As part of this plan, so far fewer than five intensive care patients (both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) have been transferred from the Central Zone to intensive care units (ICUs) in the Northern and Western zones.

There are currently 20 COVID-19 patients in Nova Scotia Health hospital ICUs. Of those, 15 are in the Central Zone. (These numbers are as of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 12. Please note these numbers fluctuate)

In addition, there are also 47 more patients in ICUs for non-COVID-19 reasons.

Decisions on the transfer of patients are made to ensure the safety and quality of care of the patients.

While a spike in hospital admissions for COVID-19 was expected this week based on recent positive test numbers, so far the proportion of those patients requiring intensive care has been higher than anticipated.

These patients are most often otherwise healthy people, not the frail, older patients we saw admitted last spring.

Nova Scotia Health has confidence that its provincial health system has the capacity to provide safe and appropriate intensive care for all those who will require it, but it needs support and action from services beyond intensive care to provide it.

Additional service reductions, including postponement of non-urgent surgeries both in Central and other zones, may be required so staff with the appropriate expertise are available to provide the required inpatient intensive care.


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