Inside the Lakeshore ER, a hospital in dire need of staff and space – CBC

At West Island hospital, a pandemic flashpoint, doctors and nurses say help is long overdue

Sep 26, 2022

On its busiest days, the Lakeshore General Hospital emergency room is so stretched for space that patients on gurneys line not just every hallway, but even the narrow passageway in front of the nursing station.

“You can imagine that’s not a great place for a sick patient,” said Dr. Tim Heeley-Ray, the hospital’s chief ER co-ordinator, on a rare tour of the ward at the only hospital in Montreal’s West Island.

It’s unusually quiet on this particular morning, but throughout the pandemic, the Lakeshore’s ER has rarely been below 100 per cent capacity. It’s not uncommon for the ER to exceed 200 per cent.

“When it gets there, it’s hard to provide good care for anyone,” Heeley-Ray said. “I just hope people know that it hurts us almost as much as them when they don’t get quality care.”

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