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

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Victoria Shamrocks win proves costly

Shamrocks lose Rhys Duch to a season-ending injury

Campbell River teen on the mend a year later

Jonah Shankar’s treatment for brain tumour involved trips to UK

Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

Lawyer says policy could compromise charter rights and personal liberties

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Most Read