Politics·Video

'Very anxious': ICU nurse describes what it's like to treat COVID patients

Ontario is set to make a formal request to the federal government for more than 600 critical care staff to help support the province's hospitals, as ICU admissions continue to rise. It's a situation that nurse manager Clare Fielding sees far too often.

Toronto-based ICU nurse manager Clare Fielding says patients today are younger and sicker

'This is the most unnatural environment ever'

Power and Politics

2 months ago
7:23
Clare Fielding, a nurse manager at the Toronto General Hospital, describes what it's like in the intensive care unit. 7:23

Ontario is set to make a formal request to the federal government for more than 600 critical care staff to help support the province's hospitals, CBC News has learned. 

The request comes as cases of COVID-19, and ICU admissions, continue to rise in hotspots like Toronto. 

It's a situation that nurse manager Clare Fielding sees far too often at Toronto General Hospital.

"The workload is intensifying and the distress both from the patients, families and the caregivers is getting quite high," she told Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos.

"People are very stretched, they are very stressed and they are very anxious." 

Ontario reported a single day record of infections on Thursday with 4,736 new cases and 659 patients in intensive care units. 

According to CBC News sources, those numbers could jump as high as 18,000 cases per day in May, even with vaccinations underway.

Fielding adds that the patients that she and her colleagues are caring for represent a broad age spectrum. People as young as 20 have been requiring intensive care.  

"You're being fed through a tube through your nose, this is the most unnatural environment ever," she said.

"Every part of your body is being managed by a nurse and respiratory therapist, a perfusionist and a physician." 

The modelling obtained by CBC News shows that 1,800 patients could be in Ontario intensive care units by the end of next month.

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