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

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

Victoria shoppers fund Jubilee hospital cardiac monitoring

More than $40k raised over the holidays at Canadian Tire locations

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read