Sask. to send 9 additional ICU patients to Ontario by Sunday

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On Tuesday, a RCAF CC-130J Hercules airplane could be seen parked on the tarmac at the Saskatoon airport as paramedics and workers in military uniform moved a patient out of an ambulance and onto the plane. That patient was flown to Kingston, Ont., according to the Canadian Armed Forces. (Don Somers/CBC - image credit)
On Tuesday, a RCAF CC-130J Hercules airplane could be seen parked on the tarmac at the Saskatoon airport as paramedics and workers in military uniform moved a patient out of an ambulance and onto the plane. That patient was flown to Kingston, Ont., according to the Canadian Armed Forces. (Don Somers/CBC - image credit)

Saskatchewan's Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) has unveiled its schedule for patients in intensive care units being airlifted out of the province to Ontario.

A total of nine patients will be sent out of province from Thursday to Sunday in an attempt to ease pressure on ICUs across Saskatchewan.

The news comes as Canadian Armed Forces personnel arrive in the province to help overburdened hospitals and to transfer patients out of province.

Four patient transfers were planned on Thursday, along with three transfers on Friday and one each on Saturday and Sunday.

With the 19 patients previously sent, a total of 28 patients will have been transferred out of the province by the beginning of next week.

In a statement, the PEOC said it believes that interprovincial patient transfers will begin to decline soon due to the arrival of military aid and increased capacity in the health-care system.

The operations centre said that out-of-province transfers are decided by several factors, including ICU capacity, clinical assessment of appropriate patients, severe weather and other events.

Saskatchewan's normal ICU capacity is 79 patient beds across the province.

As of Thursday, there were 100 patients in intensive care units in Saskatchewan and 57 of them had COVID-19.

On Oct. 20, there were 117 ICU patients across the province, including 82 in intensive care with COVID-19.

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