Dr. Roger Goldstein
West Park’s newly expanded Long-Term Ventilation Unit (LTV) comes at a time when ICU resources could become scarce in acute care centres, especially as they prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19.
West Park’s LTV unit recently expanded to a total of 69 beds. “With the COVID epidemic, the Toronto region turned to us and asked if we could expand rapidly by another 23 beds, and so our team did,” says Dr. Roger Goldstein, Specialist, Respiratory Medicine and Senior Scientist at West Park.
These in-demand beds typically have a long waitlist at any one time. Many LTV patients have had an acute trauma or severe such illness as ALS.
“ICU resources are critical in this province, which is why we opened this unit as quickly as we could,” says Dr. Goldstein. “Patients who are ventilated 24/7 and occupying an ICU bed, could be moved to an alternative care setting. This would ensure that ICUs are being used to their maximum benefit.”
Dr. Goldstein says West Park’s expertise in long-term ventilation and rehabilitation makes it an ideal partner in the effort to free up acute care ICU beds.
"Years ago, we began to realize that as people in an ICU become stable - some still depend on a ventilator for life support. At that point they're in the wrong environment," says Dr. Goldstein. “They need a rehabilitative environment. Our Long-Term Ventilation program has two goals. One is to enable people to be cared for out of the ICU and the second is to help them reintegrate into the community.”
West Park is also using its experience as the provincial LTV Centre of Excellence to take a lead role in moving medically stable ventilated patients out of the Greater Toronto Area ICUs into newly expanded LTV beds not only at West Park, but in partnership with Michael Garron and Toronto Grace hospitals as well.
“While we were able to expand in wave one, the true benefit will be during wave two,” adds Dr. Goldstein. “If that second wave hits differently and we do end up having packed ICUs, West Park will be ready to assume its role.”
To learn more about this initiative, visit any of the links below for media coverage on the expansion.
CTV News Toronto