Sudbury·Audio

Sudbury hospital postpones surgeries in wake of COVID-19 outbreak

Non-urgent and elective surgeries are being postponed in Sudbury due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital, declared over the weekend at Health Sciences North. Additional testing and contact tracing has been done, and another staff member and two patients also tested positive. The outbreak is on two hallways of the hospital's 6th floor.

Outbreak has 'created a significant amount of stress for the staff working on the unit,' says HSN official

Mark Hartman is the vice-president of patient experience and digital transformation at Health Sciences North. (Erik White/CBC )

Non-urgent and elective surgeries are being postponed in Sudbury due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital.

The outbreak was declared at Health Sciences North over the weekend, after one staff member and one patient tested positive.

More testing and contact tracing has been done since then, and an additional staff member and two patients also tested positive. The outbreak is on two hallways of the hospital's 6th floor.

It's the first COVID-19 outbreak HSN has had to contend with, says Mark Hartman, senior vice president of patient experience.

"I think it's created a significant amount of stress for the staff working on the unit. You know, they've had a high number of COVID patients over the last few weeks anyway and then to move to full isolation for every patient is additional work," he told Morning North CBC host Markus Schwabe.

"They're in hot and uncomfortable personal protective equipment all day and the added stress and worry of the potential for spread for both themselves and their families come into play. We're very fortunate that we've got an incredible team ... they provide great care, they're very resilient, and they continue to provide compassionate care to the patients."

Hartman says the outbreak has disrupted the flow of patients in and out of hospital.

"So it's limited our capacity to manage. And when that happens, we run the risk of really backing things up in the emergency department," he said.

"So as much as we didn't want to, we chose to postpone some non-urgent elective surgeries."

Despite the postponement of some surgeries, all other clinics and procedures at HSN are continuing as normal.

Tap the player to listen to the whole interview.

With files from Martha Dillman and Markus Schwabe

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now