Ornge sees increase in transfers of child patients as pediatric hospitals are under pressure

The Ontario Air Ambulance Service says it is seeing an increase in the number of children it transports, with a higher number of such transfers due to respiratory illnesses.

Ornge says the increase comes as its pediatric hospital partners are also seeing an increase in the number of patients seeking care.

Ornge says it has not transferred any pediatric patients outside of Ontario so far.

But since it may be necessary to take patients to areas outside the province at any time, including cities in the United States, crews are required to carry their passports for each shift.

It says crews can receive reminders about the passport requirement to ensure they are able to meet patient needs.

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A combination of RSV, influenza and COVID-19 has put immense pressure on Ontario’s pediatric hospitals, with many having to cancel surgeries to cope with the influx of patients.

Last week, the province asked thousands of family health workers to work evenings and weekends to help ease the burden on children’s hospitals.

Ontario Health, the agency that oversees the province’s healthcare system, also recently ordered general hospitals across the province to accept children 14 and older who need intensive care.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Kieran Moore has said he does not expect the respiratory season to peak until early or mid-December.

&copy 2022 The Canadian Press


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