Island Health saw an uptick in snow-related injuries this week, including slip-and-falls. (File photo)

Victoria hospitals saw rise in snow-related injuries, staff shortage from snow

Walk-in clinic closures, motor vehicle incidents saw crowded emergency rooms

Staffing levels at local hospitals are finally back to normal after a strenuous couple of days caused by the weather.

Heavy snowfall this week made it impossible for many people to get to work both at hospitals and walk-in clinics, causing more visits to the emergency room with less medical staff able to attend.

“There were longer than usual waits, but out staff have been working incredibly hard,” said Meribeth Burton, spokesperson for Island Health. “The military base shut down, as did schools and campuses, but we can’t shut down hospitals.”

ALSO READ: Another snow day for Greater Victoria following night of snow fall

Several surgeries had to be postponed because surgeons and patients couldn’t get to the hospital on time. Simultaneously, hospitals saw a spike of snow-related injuries coming in.

“There were a lot of motor vehicle accidents… a lot of slip and falls and fractures,” Burton said. “Even with tobogganing, it’s a lot of fun but some people were doing it for the first time and got injured.”

Burton said Island Health was quick to come up with creative solutions, including an organized rideshare program with the switchboard, but that a lot of help came from the community.

“We heard from a Victoria 4×4 club who started a social media group to volunteer driving staff to the hospital,” Burton said. “It just proves that extreme weather brings out the best in people.”

READ MORE: Vancouver Island 4×4 club offers free rides to hospital staff

Staff members were creative in getting to work, including a nurse who cross-country skied her way into the Victoria General Hospital, and other staff members who opted to stay overnight.

“On Monday we had several staff monitoring the weather, so they had a makeshift bed made up and just stayed,” Burton said. “Now that’s dedication to the job.”

Burton said things are starting to settle now that more walk-in clinics are opening and more staff are coming in, but that now it’s time to catch up after a frantic couple of days.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

UVic student killed in bus crash remembered as passionate, kind

Emma Machado, 18, killed in bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

Golfer aims for hole-in-one to raise cash for Victoria Hospice

Fundraiser event hits Highland Pacific Golf Course Sept. 17

Malahat truck crash cleared but over 200 still without power

Hydro poles taken out in Monday afternoon crash

U.S. student killed in Bamfield bus crash remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

VIDEO: Flames pick up 4-3 exhibition win over Canucks in Victoria

Vancouver split squad manages 3-2 OT triumph in Calgary

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million Lotto 6/49 prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Most Read