Snow-related injuries, crashes landing more in hospital; medical staff get big lift

Island Health reports that Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals have seen a jump in snow-related injuries in recent days.

“We definitely have seen increases in slip-and-fall accidents, fractures and people who have suffered injuries in motor-vehicle crashes,” said Island Health spokeswoman Meribeth Burton.

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“There’s also some closures at walk-in clinics, so we’re asking people who have urgent and acute medical conditions to absolutely seek out care at an emergency department, and for those who don’t have a medical emergency to ride it out if they’re able to or contact 811.”

811 is a provincial health-information and health-advice phone line.

Island Health staff members have been doing their best to be on the job, Burton said.

“We had staff at many sites stay overnight,” she said. “They were worried about road conditions.”

Still, a few surgeries and procedures have been postponed because both patients and staff have been unable to travel.

A couple of measures are now helping staff get around, Burton said.

“We had a really generous offer through social media from the Victoria 4X4 community, and it looks like they’ve got seven drivers who are willing to take medical staff to and from their shifts, which is super nice,” she said.

“And we’ve started a transportation co-ordination centre here at the Jubilee, but it’s for all of our sites.”

The idea is to have staff with winter tires and snow-worthy vehicles picking up colleagues who live in their area, Burton said.

“So we’re banding together.”

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