More concerns were expressed this week about overcapacity at Red Deer hospital. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer hospital experienced brief period with long wait times this weekend

A high number of traumas resulted in a brief period with long wait times at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre early Saturday morning.

“Staffing levels at the hospital’s emergency department were normal and patients were triaged and cared for as necessary,” Alberta Health Services said in a statement Sunday.

A photo recently posted on social media showed the estimated time to see a doctor at 2:23 a.m. on Saturday morning was 14 hours and two minutes.

AHS said emergency department wait-times can fluctuate rapidly and significantly depending upon the quantity of patients and level of care required.

“This is not unusual. Estimated wait times on screens in emergency departments change frequently to reflect those factors. Estimated wait times are also provided online to help walk-in patients decided which site is best for them,” AHS said.

“Our emergency departments are always open and ready to provide care. We encourage people to consider alternatives, however, if they are not experiencing a medical emergency. AHS’ Know Your Options webpage provides a range of resources that can help ensure emergency departments are used appropriately.”

AHS said the healthcare system continues to experience increasing demand, particularly emergency departments, due to the surge in cases caused by the Omicron variant.

“We are taking several steps to address this rapid increase in hospitalizations, and acknowledge that emergency department wait-times are growing in tandem with pressure on the healthcare system,” said AHS.

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