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Flu outbreak puts more pressure on beds

King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (File photograph)

A spike in demand, including “far higher” levels of flu and respiratory illness, is stretching the bed capacity at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Problems discharging senior patients have made the situation worse and the facility is using its General Wing for acute admission.

A Bermuda Hospitals Board spokeswoman said that non-essential surgeries might be delayed while the hospital tries to free up additional beds to cope with extra demand.

The surge in admissions is highest in the senior population and the public has been asked to see their GP, rather than attend the hospital, whenever possible.

There were 279 Emergency Department visits in the three-day period from Saturday to Monday, with more than three hours for each patient.

The maximum number of beds in the Acute Care Wing is 90.

Edward Schultz, the Emergency Department chief, said staff were working “around the clock”. He asked for the community’s understanding and patience.

Judy Richardson, the chief of nursing, said that the lack of community home beds for elderly patients had made it “increasingly difficult to discharge people when they no longer need acute care services to free-up capacity”.

The public has been asked to help by bringing home relatives who are ready to be discharged.

To read the full statement, click on the PDF under ‘Related Media’