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Nurse at KGH sharing frustration over those who ignore the impact of COVID

KGH ICU well over capacity

The intensive care unit at Kelowna General Hospital is well over capacity, and nurses there are sharing their anger, and frustration.

At the end of Monday's city council meeting, Mayor Colin Basran shared a social media post written by one ICU nurse at the hospital over the weekend.

The post, says Basran, brings to light things not usually made public, or that we don't hear about as often.

In the post, she says the ICU unit at KGH hit 160 per cent of capacity this past week, and healthcare workers are exhausted, and pleading with people to get vaccinated.

"Our vented COVID patients have over 75 per cent mortality regardless of age and comorbidities. And currently zero per cent are vaccinated. They stay in these rooms for weeks," the post states

"This is why there are mandates. This is why surgeries are cancelled. This is why so many patients are transferred from centre to centre. This is why there is so much burnout."

According to the BC Centre for Disease control, 36 people are in intensive care across Interior Health just due to COVID-19. There are 40 ICU beds in Kelowna, nine of which are dedicated for post-surgery patients, but there are a wide variety of reasons a person can end up in the ICU besides COVID-19.

Read the full post below.

Welcome to our ICU. This week, we hit 160% capacity…with the same pool of nurses.

"You don’t have to work here to see how this is impacting my workplace, and all of healthcare: we are exhausted. Our vented covid patients have over 75 percent mortality (regardless of age and co-morbidities), and currently zero percent are vaccinated.

"They stay in these rooms for weeks. This is why there are mandates. This is why surgeries are cancelled. This is why so many patients are transferred from centre to centre. This is why there is so much burnout. This is why healthcare workers are pleading for you to get vaccinated: it is proven to be safe and effective in preventing hospitalizations, critical illness and subsequent death.

"We don’t need to read the studies, watch opinion pieces on social media or listen to the news…we are living it. We know. Ask any of us, we will tell you.

"We only want to save lives and have a room for those that need it, and we are struggling to do both."

"This hits pretty close to home," added Basran.

He says it's another reminder to people who have not yet been vaccinated to please do so.

Meantime, Coun. Charlie Hodge, who suffers from a respiratory condition, says healthcare workers at the respiratory clinic at KGH made it clear to him during a regular checkup last week that they are "way, way, way over stressed and overworked."

"The entire respiratory unit is right against the wall with trying to keep up," said Hodge at the conclusion of Monday's meeting.

"Despite the laxness we have been taking on lately as a society, this has not gone away with them and, indeed there is a lot of consternation."

Hodge says the clinic is jammed full of people.

"They asked me to remind people to please, despite feeling you may be able to relax a bit, you can't. Wear your mask, get your vaccination, do all the right things...don't drop your guard."

Hodge says staff at the clinic are concerned we are in for "as rough a winter as we've had in the past."

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