With the opening of Surrey Memorial Hospital's ER Monday, workers at the Peace Arch Hospital were breathing a sigh of relief following two weeks of dealing with twice the normal patient traffic.
According to Mary Rhode, director of site operations for PAH, the patient traffic over the last two weeks to their ER was consistently about twice the norm.
"It was hugely congested. I would say that we had probably 60 to 100 more visits in the emergency per day and that stayed pretty consistent," she said.
To compensate, Rhode said various staff members had to resort to working overtime.
"We incurred lots of overtime, particularly in the areas of staff and access, as well as the porters, to move folks around," said Rhode. "They worked really, really hard. We did open an additional 10-bed overflow unit, which really helped."
SMH's ER was closed for two weeks as a result of a construction mishap that saw a ruptured water line flood the ground floor of SMH with water 18 inches deep.
Damage is estimated to be around $2 to 3 million.
As a result, would-be Surrey patients were redirected to surrounding hospitals.
But while the SMH ER is now open, Rhode predicts it will take a few days for PAH to level out in terms of patient load.
"We're a little backed up trying to transfer back to Surrey," she said. "That's mainly just due to transportation issues with the ambulances because the volumes have just been so high for them."
Through all the delays and congestion, Rhode said staff was to be commended for their work.
"Huge kudos to the staff and physicians because they pulled together," she said.
"To get the 10-bed overflow up and running in 24 hours was phenomenal." firstname.lastname@example.org