A Regina emergency room was so busy this weekend, patients had to be put in the waiting room.
Danielle Krish said she went to the ER at the General Hospital on Saturday afternoon with pancreas pains. She saw a doctor and was given hydromorphine, but she wasn’t expecting what happened next.
“Usually when they drug you up they put you in a bed, right? Well, no, they said I had to go back to the waiting room, and I looked at him and he’s like ‘there’s no beds,” said Krish.
“I’m like ‘oh, so I’m going to be high out of my mind in the waiting room,’ and he’s like ‘just don’t try to fall asleep.'”
She says there were a couple of other patients in the waiting room, including a person wearing a gown and with an IV.
Krish said she was in the waiting room for about eight hours before a bed was open.
“So I’d be in the waiting room for like 45 minutes, they’d call me to go do an ultrasound, put me back into the waiting room and I’d sit there again, call me to go do an x-ray, and then I’d go back into the waiting room.”
The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region said the ERs at both the General Hospital and the Pasqua Hospital were busy on the weekend.
On Saturday there was a high of 65 patients in the General Hospital ER, which has 33 patient care spaces. Many of the patients were critically ill, which can reduce patient flow through the ER.
In an email, the health region said when the ER is particularly busy patients may need to wait in the external waiting room, but it’s not ideal. The email said being in the external waiting room allows the staff to ensure patients are safe while awaiting reassessment.
Krish said she feels bad for the nurses being so busy. “The point where people are drugged up and not having a bed, in the waiting room, that’s just too far.”