Surrey ER docs still covering cardiac arrests in ICU: officials

Intensive care unit director resigned, but Fraser Health says staff promise critical patients will be resuscitated.

Fraser Health officials are denying reports that emergency doctors at Surrey Memorial Hospital had declined to provide after-hours coverage of cardiac arrests in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU).

Dr. Urbain Ip, medical director at SMH, said discussions have been underway for some time between ER doctors and hospital officials over how best to reorganize coverage in light of worsening hospital congestion.

ER doctors who are under growing pressure want their counterparts in ICU to begin handling their own department’s cardiac emergencies when possible, a break from the past practice of calling in ER staff.

But Ip said the ER physicians have now agreed to continue covering ICU “code blue” calls to resuscitate cardiac arrest victims when the ICU team is unavailable.

“The ER doctors have promised me that when they are requested to go to ICU to attend cardiac arrest they will not refuse, they will go upon request.”

The ICU director at SMH, Dr. Grant McCormack, resigned his position but Ip said he couldn’t speculate as to the reason.

“I want to guarantee that Fraser Health Authority is not going to allow anything other than best patient care,” he said.

Ip said he expects discussions about potential changes to continue on how best to handle cardiac emergencies.

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma called it an ongoing discussion and said it’s merely a coincidence the issue has boiled up in public after the opening of Surrey Memorial’s new ER, which is already overloaded to the point that patients are once again being treated in hallways.

“Patient care for cardiac arrest is not being compromised or changed,” she said.

“This is about looking at, as the hospital grows and expands and there’s more demand, how to ensure that those services are being delivered in a timely way and how can they work cooperatively to make sure that continues to happen.”

Dr. Adam Lund, a spokesman for emergency room physicians based at Royal Columbian Hospital, said ER doctors at SMH and other Lower Mainland hospitals are swamped.

“We are chronically overcrowded,” Lund said.

“Hospitals are often operating beyond capacity and the emergency departments are the default locations to store patients until there can be turnover up on the wards.”

Lund stressed he could not speak for Surrey ER doctors, but said it seems logical to him that they might be seeking to negotiate more funding for ER coverage to ensure it’s not impaired when a member of the ER team is called away to ICU and a critically ill patient arrives through the front door.

Just Posted

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Surrey’s Flamingo ‘closing forever’ following final concert in February

Whalley venue reopened under new management in January 2018

The science of edible photographs on shortbread bisquits: A Surrey artist talks

Sylvia Grace Borda at Science World a week after her art show opens at KPU

Delta bans clothing donation bins citing safety concerns

Owners have until Jan. 29 to remove the bins, after which the city will charge them for the removal

Illegal dumping, homeless camps in South Surrey ‘not out of the ordinary’ for city

Land owner believes 2018 Whalley cleanup pushed the problem south

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read

l -->