Emergency room demand to exceed capacity until mid-February

Lakeshore General Hospital

By Kevin Woodhouse

Due to the increase in flu patients, as the influenza season started earlier and was more severe than usual, the ER at the Lakeshore General Hospital has been working beyond its capacity since November and those numbers are not expected to change until mid-February when the flu season will hopefully peak.

In an effort to deal with the extra patients, the ER was 167 percent over capacity last week, Sandrine Charpentier, spokesperson for the West Island Health and Social Services, told The Suburban that “we have more nurses working to handle the work load and doctors are also helping” but no specific numbers were provided.

In an effort to stem the rise of flu cases, various Montreal clinics adjacent to major hospitals will be offering flu shots from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. during weekdays. West Island patients can also get flu shots by “making an appointment at the “CLSC de Pierrefonds or CLSC du Lac St. Louis,” explained Charpentier.

In an effort to avoid getting the flu, Charpentier suggests frequently washing your hands to avoid the potential spread of germs or by using hand sanitizer. Coughers should expectorate into a tissue that is then discarded and hands re-washed. In public, cough into your elbow to prevent spreading germs to family, work colleagues and friends.

If a fever occurs, avoid contact with people who are vulnerable to infection, rest and drink plenty of fluids.

For more information, consult the West Island Health and Social Services website.

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