Windsor Regional Hospital has backlog of up to 3,000 elective surgeries

Operating rooms at the Windsor Regional Hospital are running at 100 per cent capacity this week.

Hospital's chief of staff hospital looking to operate above capacity to perform surgeries

Windsor Regional Hospital (Tom Addison/CBC)

Operating rooms at the Windsor Regional Hospital will be running at full capacity in efforts to clear a backlog on elective procedures due to COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Dr. Wassim Saad, the hospital's chief of staff, 2,500 to 3,000 elective procedures have been delayed due to COVID-19.

"It is obviously very unfortunate and we are doing everything we can to catch up," he said.

Some of the patients have mobility issues and are not able to get joints replaced, affecting their quality of life, he said.

Dr. Wassim Saad, chief of staff for Windsor Regional Hospital. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC)

During the first wave of the virus, the hospital — along with others in the province — stopped doing non-urgent procedures in order to have capacity to treat COVID-19 patients.

The hospital had some time between between waves of the virus, but the hospital only got to 50 to 60 per cent capacity in its operating rooms, Saad said.

The hospital cancelled all non-urgent surgeries a second time as the region was in the grips of the second wave of COVID-19 in December.

In recent weeks, operating rooms have ramped up 100 per cent capacity at the hospital's Ouellette campus, and they reached 90 per cent at the Metropolitan campus. The hospital wants to get operating rooms at both facilities running at full capacity by the end of this week, Saad said.

"Our hope right now is to try to do more than 100 per cent, because if we remain at 100 per cent capacity, we'll never catch up," he said.

Saad predicts it will take at least a year and a half to clear the backlog of surgeries — and it also depends on whether the region can steer clear of a third wave of the virus.

With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive

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