Patients, doctor raise alarm over anesthesiologist shortage in Sask. hospital – CBC

1 anesthesiologist at Swift Current hospital serving region spanning hundreds of square kilometres

Aug 23, 2023

Pregnant women in Southwest Saskatchewan say they aren’t sure where to deliver their babies.

That’s because the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current, which serves a region spanning hundreds of square kilometres, is down to just one anesthesiologist who may not be working when they go into labour.

“The idea of giving birth is stressful enough. This feels very odd in this day and age,” said Caitlin Willman, whose baby is due in less than a month.

An anesthesiologist, a doctor with several years of additional specialized training, administers sedation and other medication during hospital surgeries and a host of other procedures. Not having enough medication can result in extreme pain, but too much can be fatal.

Anesthesiologists attend cases ranging from major emergency room trauma to kidney stone removal. They also assist in births.

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