FULL CAPACITY: Influx of non-COVID-19 patients overwhelm PMH Emergency Dept.

FULL CAPACITY: Influx of non-COVID-19 patients overwhelm PMH Emergency Dept.
  • Nine more COVID deaths reclassified
  • Another 49 COVID-19 cases recorded on Wednesday

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Public Hospitals Authority advised yesterday that Princess Margaret Hospital was operating at full capacity as a result of non-COVID-19 patients seeking care amid a backlog during the pandemic.

The PHA said the hospital expects an increase of 23 beds within the next 24-hours, and nurses have been redeployed from the PMH Family Medicine Clinic at Agape House to PMH.

Physicians will remain at the facility, which will offer “limited services”.

As a result of decreased bed capacity, 40 patients at the hospital’s Emergency Department were awaiting admission.

That department has been restricted to emergency cases only as the hospital reduces face-to-face outpatient services, elective surgeries, and specialty clinics.

According to a press release, those types of cases include major accidents, strokes and heart attacks, trauma with major bleeding, loss of consciousness, and difficulty breathing.

Meanwhile, nine people died from the coronavirus between September 2021 and February 11, 2022, though the deaths were only confirmed as COVID-19-related yesterday.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said there had been no increase in the total number of recent deaths caused by COVID-19 as the nine deaths were added to the count after being reclassified from under investigation.

The deaths included five women between the ages of 32 and 80, and four men, ages 51, 55, 61, and 75. Total deaths now stand at 810, with another 10 under investigation.

“As part of its processes to ensure accurate reporting of data, the National Surveillance Unit has undertaken to resolve the number of deaths under investigation that occurred during the pandemic,” read a statement.

“Two recent exercises have been completed.”

It said 11 deaths under investigation were reviewed in the first exercise and of these, eight were reclassified as COVID-19-related.

According to the ministry, all of those reclassified deaths occurred during the second wave and were confined to the period July 2, 2020, through March 4, 2021.

“This batch of re-classified deaths were reported on April 29, 2022,” read the statement.

“These eight deaths from the second wave were reported at the same time as three COVID-19 related deaths that occurred between March 29 and April 11, 2022.”

In the second exercise, the Surveillance reported the re-classification of a further 15 deaths under investigation, resulting in a total of nine new COVID-19-related deaths, increasing the total to 810.

But the ministry said these deaths were added to the total COVID-19 deaths on May 18, 2022, and occurred in the third and fourth waves of the pandemic, between September 9, 2021, and February 11, 2022.

Additionally, the ministry advised that three more COVID-19-related deaths were recorded between May 1, 2022, and May 17, 2022.

“The ministry maintains that even one death related to COVID-19 is one too many,” it said.

“We further underscore that COVID-19 vaccines are proven to significantly decrease the risk of severe COVID-19 medical complications and death.

“Vaccines are available throughout the Commonwealth and we encourage Bahamians everywhere who have not been vaccinated to do so.”

First and second-dose vaccinations continue to be administered, though uptake from all accounts remains sluggish.

The government began offering second booster doses on May 8 to those who were eligible.

Meanwhile, the country continues to record moderate double-digit new infections.

A total of 49 cases were recorded on Wednesday, according to the ministry.

Of the new infections, 42 were recorded on New Providence, two on Abaco, one on Eleuthera, one on Andros, and three cases had pending locations.

Twelve of the infections recorded yesterday were imported cases.

As of Wednesday, there were 11 hospitalized cases, two of which were in Intensive Care Units.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.


Imagine that… NON virus related hospitalizations Just like back before COVID.

Large increases in cancer diagnosis since they shut down screenings, testings, treatments, surgery, Oncology, etc. What was sowed in the wind …..

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