Record Visits to Hamilton Children’s Hospital Causing Longer Wait Times

by EditorK

Paramedics and healthcare workers transfer a patient from Humber River Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to a waiting air ambulance in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on April 28, 2021. (Photo by COLE BURSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

By Andrew Chen

A sharp increase in the number of children visiting the emergency room at the children’s hospital in Hamilton, Ont., is resulting in longer wait times. 

McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) said in a May 20 news release that the hospital saw a record number of patients on May 16 with over 230 children visiting its emergency department, while visits the previous week averaged roughly 190 per day. 

“Families who visit the MCH ED may face long wait times. As a reminder, children are prioritized to be seen based on the severity of their condition. We’re asking for patience as our teams do their best to care for all patients and their families,” reads the news release. 

When asked what caused the increase in hospital visits, MCH told The Epoch Times that COVID-19-related hospitalizations—either admitted for or hospitalized with the virus—remain low. However, the hospital is seeing more children with viral illnesses.

Dr. Christopher Sulowski, chief of the pediatric emergency department at MCH, asked parents and guardians to consider their care options before taking the children to the emergency department as many respiratory illnesses can be safely managed at home with fluids and over-the-counter products to reduce or stop a fever. 

“We are seeing multiple different viruses circulating in the community at the same time right now, some causing very high fevers,” Sulowski said. “These high fevers don’t always necessitate a trip to the emergency department. Instead, keep kids hydrated and comfortable with medications.” 

While saying that mild symptoms or injuries can be treated at home or by a family doctor, the hospital is still recommending parents and guardians call 911 if their child is experiencing a medical emergency. 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include MCH’s response to The Epoch Times’ request for comment. 

Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.

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