Ready for a 2nd wave

Prêt à affronter une 2e vague

New walls, ventilation, and the plexiglass came to correct the old facilities of the old hospital of Montreal in only a few weeks to combat the COVID-19.

“We will be even better prepared for a second wave,” promises Dr. Bernard Cyr, at the Direction of the professional services of the Lakeshore general Hospital in Pointe-Claire.

Nurse Judy Dagenais out of a room with walls of plexiglas, designed to provide hemodialysis treatment and curb the spread of the virus.

Built in the 1960s, the montreal hospital had not been designed for a pandemic. Not surprisingly, therefore, it has been grappling with an outbreak of COVID-19 in its old rooms, where there was a pile of four patients, even if the floor in question welcomed these patients.

The new hospitals are built with individual rooms to limit the spread of infections. Several also have negative pressure rooms, filter best the air.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 on the 4th floor made us realize that we needed to do something, quickly “, says Dr. Rolf Loertscher, head of the department of medicine in the specialty.

Rearrange the places

The double rooms have become simple. And then the walls were built in the rooms with four patients to accommodate two. The work spaces of the staff have also been expanded, because up to 129 employees of the hospital have contracted the coronavirus.

In two weeks, the walls were built to separate the patients in the rooms.

These modernisation works were “still being discussed” according to Dr. Cyr, but the pandemic has set in motion.

In two weeks, this spring, the Lakeshore has doubled its number of rooms in the intensive care unit, from 15 to 30. The ventilation has been restored, emergency-to add the negative pressure to the new rooms.

The hemodialysis center now has walls of plexiglas, creating separate areas for patients receiving treatment three times per week.

Here, too, an outbreak has resulted in these changes. Initially, plastic sheets full the place, but they have not been able to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Patients receiving hemodialysis often come from the accommodation centres for seniors, some of whom were already infected.

This is with a ventilation to negative pressure, and the plexiglas that the transmission could be cut. No other cases have occurred since.


The radiology department can boast of having been spared by the coronavirus, in spite of the many medical tests of patients infected.

Here, absolutely everything was disinfected after each patient, up to the hooks on the wall, launches the Dr. Véronique Rodella.

The disinfection of the medical devices continues after each patient.

Even today, everything is meticulously cleaned. “This is not a bad thing,” remarked the doctor, who estimates that the pandemic has raised awareness to all staff.

This cleaning and the rooms individual ” will have an impact on overall hospital-acquired infections “, and not only the COVID-19, ” says Dr. Cyr.

New temporary building

A building modular is currently under construction to add 24 stretchers to the capacity of the hospital. The new building will have a lifespan of five to seven years.

This is priority work, according to the ministry of Health and social Services, whose costs have not been quantified.

“We’ve done something temporary, but ideally you need to work a bit more important “, argues Bernard Cyr.

Still, if a second wave shakes the city, the Lakeshore will be ready. “Everything is already there, already installed. If there is a need, this will be instantaneous, ” he says.

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