ERs, ambulances being kept busy

Emergency rooms and ambulance services have been working extra-hard the past few days.

Montreal hospitals have been seeing more and more people coming into emergency rooms with dislocated shoulders and bone fractures, as well as flu symptoms.

St. Mary's hospital is the busiest in the city, operating at 213 percent capacity, while Suroit Hospital in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield is at over 300 percent.

Additional ambulance crews had to be called in around the Montérégie area to deal with seasonal trouble, including a higher than usual number of road accidents and flu symptoms.

The good news is, there haven`t been any serious road accidents. Most have been fender benders.

Also keeping ambulance crews busy have been routine respiratory and cardiac calls.

Bruce Diotte of CÉTAM, the Montérégie ambulance cooperative, says that despite the busy schedule, response times were not affected and the public was never in danger.

He adds that flu season, which is approaching its mid- to late-January peak, is making life complicated for medical personnel.

Ambulance techs are wearing masks, disinfecting all equipment and taking precautions in their personal lives.

He says that people experiencing bad flu symptoms should call Info Santé at 811, but anyone experiencing chest pains or is having trouble breathing should call 911 immediately.

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