Regina hospitals continue to see ice-related injuries

Slippery conditions continued to plague Regina residents on Thursday, with the city hospitals seeing a continued surge of patients suffering from ice-related injuries.

More orthopedic patients needed surgeries on Thursday morning

The City of Regina is providing sand for residents to pick up to help deal with the icy conditions, but the boxes are emptying quickly. People are asked only to take what they need. (CBC News)

Slippery conditions continued to plague Regina residents on Thursday, with the city's hospitals seeing a continued surge of patients suffering from ice-related injuries. 

By Thursday morning, there were nine more orthopedic patients needing surgery at Pasqua Hospital and 10 more requiring surgery at Regina General Hospital, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. The health authority said about half of the cases were estimated to be patients injured because of ice. 

The large number of new, emergent surgery patients has impacted available beds for elective surgeries. Thirteen elective orthopedic surgeries have had to be postponed.

However, the health authority said it has increased staffing to deal with the emergencies in a timely way, with an extra team called in on Wednesday night to provide orthopedic surgeries, and several orthopedic surgeons on hand to assist with the influx in patients. 

Freezing rain began to fall Tuesday afternoon and continued into the night, turning Regina's streets and sidewalks into slippery sheets that are still leading to falls and ice-related injuries. (Tyler Pidlubny/CBC)

Returning to normal volume

While the number of admitted patients waiting for beds in emergency at both of the city's hospitals was high, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said the total number of patients had mostly stabilized, with 55 seeking care at Regina General Hospital and 45 waiting at Pasqua. 

Over a 24-hour period on Jan. 9, EMS had responded to 114 calls, but the service has since returned to a normal volume, responding to 75 calls in a day. 

Sandboxes emptying quickly

The City of Regina is offering sand for pickup, with the sandbox locations available online

The city said crews are monitoring and refilling the boxes as much as possible to keep up with the high demand, but the city's priority remains clearing roads and city sidewalks. People can bring a small container to fill, such as an ice cream bucket, but people are asked to take only what they need so there will be sand for others.