Regina expects 6 nursing sisters with more patient transfers planned

Six intensive care nurses from the Canadian Armed Forces will arrive in Saskatchewan on Wednesday, according to officials from the Provincial Emergency Operations Center (PEOC).

The announcement was made to the media in a COVID-19 teleconference update Monday morning with members of the PEOC, Saskatchewan Health Authority and health officials.

Marlo Pritchard of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency said nurses will report to Regina to provide support to healthcare workers.

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He added that an air medical transport plane equipped to transfer intensive care patients will be used to transport them out of the province. The first flight from Saskatchewan is scheduled for Tuesday.

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Authorities are also planning to bring up to 20 Canadian Red Cross nurses to the province, but they are not intensive care nurses. Pritchard said he didn’t know when these nurses would arrive.

Other supports were requested by the province, however, Pritchard said they were not available at the time of their request.

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It comes after Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair tweeted Friday that there would be military personnel traveling to Saskatchewan to provide support amid tensions in hospitals felt by an increase in hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

Pritchard confirmed that three ICU patients were about to be transferred from Saskatchewan to Ontario on Monday for treatment.

Last Friday, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that Ontario has the capacity to accommodate up to nine additional patients Monday through Wednesday with up to three patient transfers each of those days.

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However, officials shared in Monday’s update that up to four transfers are scheduled for Tuesday.

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“Transfers out of the province depend on several factors, such as intensive care capacity, clinical assessment and identification of appropriate patients, extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen events,” a government statement said. “Final figures may be subject to change. “

Pritchard said more information on patient transfers would be available soon.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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