Burnaby Hospital staff fear virus transmission on special COVID-19 ward
BURNABY -- An employee at Burnaby Hospital working in a special unit for confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 has reached out to CTV News Vancouver with concerns about the way the virus is being handled at the hospital.
“We are afraid that due to these unsafe and exceedingly dangerous managerial practices, we are exposing our patients and staff to the virus rather than protecting them from it,” said the letter, written by a staff member who did not want to be identified.
The letter outlines several concerns, including that in the same shift a nurse could be required to treat patients with confirmed cases and those who only have suspected cases.
In some instances, the letter says, suspected COVID-19 patients are being kept on the same ward as elderly patients with non-coronavirus health issues, and nurses working with both sets of patients share computers and equipment.
“We are following our guidance from best practices and evidence-based infection prevention control, as well as international evidence as it comes to the forefront,” said Dr. Victoria Lee, President and CEO of Fraser Health.
In response to the letter, Dr. Lee says she understands people working on the front lines are stressed and anxious.
“I appreciate the concerns, fear, anxiety and caution for people that are working everyday to combat COVID-19,” she said. “I am grateful and appreciate them and also am inspired by the courage, commitment and professionalism that I see.”
She went on to say there are approximately 40 COVID-19 patients spread across a dozen hospitals in the Fraser Health region.