Kitchener-Waterloo

Grand River Hospital says more patients coming to ER than hospital designed to handle

The emergency room at Grand River Hospital is dealing with a surge in demand for care, with about 200 patients coming in every day since mid-December, according to a hospital news release. The emergency room is designed to handle 165 patients per day.

Average of 200 patients a day coming to the ER since mid-December

The Grand River Hospital says it's been dealing with about 20 per cent more patients per day than the emergency room was designed to handle. (CBC)

The emergency room at Grand River Hospital is dealing with a surge in demand for care, with around 200 patients coming in every day since mid-December, according to a hospital news release. 

The emergency room is designed to handle 165 patients per day, a spokesperson said in an email. 

New Year's Day was especially bad, with a total of 233 patients coming into the ER. In comparison, in the last five years the greatest number of patients to come in on a single day was 235. 

As a result, expected emergency room wait times are longer, the hospital said. Patients who need to stay in hospital for additional treatment can also expect to wait longer for a bed.

The hospital said many people are coming in with cold and flu symptoms, falls caused by bad weather and chronic illnesses.

"We are in the midst of surge (like many other ON hospitals) in demand for care," a spokesperson said in an email.

Officials are urging people to avoid the emergency room if possible and to seek care from their family doctor or a walk-in clinic if their problem isn't urgent.

People should still go to the emergency room if they have:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Continuous vomiting.
  • Sudden severe headache, weakness, vision problems or dizziness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Confusion and disorientation.
  • Seizures or convulsions.
  • A broken bone or wound that needs stitches.
  • A baby under three months old with a fever over 38.5 C, or who has a fever and is hard to wake.
  • Stiff neck and sensitivity to light.

Members of the public can keep themselves and others healthy by getting the flu shot, washing their hands regularly and staying home if they think they have the flu, the hospital said.