One of the features of the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital is the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). It represents one of two ICU’s in the North Zone of Alberta and is seeing very high demand early on, according to Senior Operating Officer Stacy Greening.
“Right now our average occupancy has been up and around 95 percent. This is for different reasons and not just COVID-19 related. Those numbers do fluctuate depending on the needs of the region. For example, if we had a multi-vehicle collision with serious injuries that would definitely have an impact on the ICU. If someone recovers that would change our occupancy as well,” she says.
Greening says that even though the numbers are high, she is grateful to have this care available locally.
“As a regional trauma centre, we are able to treat patients from throughout Northwestern Alberta. We have 12 ICU spaces at the hospital and our ICU numbers fluctuate based on patient demand,” she says.
Greening says it’s important to note that while they are near capacity at the hospital, the ICU is able to take on more patients, putting less strain on the Emergency Department.
“I can tell you that on average we have definitely had higher demand on our ICU as our COVID-19 numbers locally have declined. In the region, the demand has increased from the end of August to November,” she says.
Greening says that moving everything over from the QEII was a big job, but that everyone involved in that process did an incredible job.
“On the day of the move, they were so efficient. It takes a lot of time, attention, and work to complete that process moving from one hospital to another. It included moving patients that were in the ICU in critical care and we also had NICU transport teams here from the Stollery to help support our move,” she explains. “I’m really proud of the teams for all the work they’ve done.”
Greening is grateful to the community for showing up and supporting the new hospital, even on a smaller scale.
“Thanks to our communities in terms of the support they’ve provided. Even on opening day, we had people with signs outside in the cold and cheering for our first ambulance,” she says.