FROM Dr. Lucie Filteau at Ottawa General Hospital…
Our City is mostly shutting down for the next 2-3 weeks, doing what’s possible virtually, limiting forays into public spaces. THIS IS WHY:
Wondering if you should travel or go to that meeting or event? LISTEN UP!
There are @ 3170 ICU beds in Canada. That’s it for all critical care. ICUs in Canada already run at 100% capacity so there’s no room for a surge in demand. At least 10% of people who get COVID-19 require hospitalization. At least 5% of people who get COVID-19 will require mechanical ventilation.
Consider for a moment that there are 37,000,000 people in Canada. Experts estimate that 30%-70% of the Canadian population will get this virus because nobody is immune. Even if you assume 30% that means 11,000,000 infected and ultimately 555,000 requiring ventilation!! Recovery takes weeks. We don’t have anywhere near the capacity to deal with these demands.
Not only will we not have ICU beds and ventilators for COVID patients (not by a long shot). We won’t have health care resources for anyone else (heart attacks, strokes, trauma, any need for surgery).
Slowing down the viral spread is what’s needed to save as many people as possible so that our doctors don’t have to tell patients we don’t have a ventilator for you. You must realize that people can be contagious before they even have symptoms. The goal is to reduce the speed of transmission by social distancing. Measures such as social distancing are impossible when in a crowded space such as a plane or ANY event. I totally understand the idea that “I’m young and healthy I won’t need a bed” but it doesn’t just affect the person travelling it affects the community health care resource for everyone in that community. Please consider the vulnerable people in our communities and their families.
Stay home. Cancel all your meetings and events. Share this post. Talk to your family and friends (via phone and social media). Every little bit helps.
Dr. Lucie Filteau
Front line MD at The Ottawa Hospital