A hospital set in a Montreal arena

Un hôpital aménagé dans un aréna de Montréal

Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
The Red Cross has deployed a dozen tents on the surface of the ice of the Jacques-Lemaire arena in Montreal. The first patients are to arrive from Monday.

The CIUSSS of the West-of-the-Island-of-Montreal prepares to host patients of the COVID-19 in a “mobile hospital” is located in the Jacques-Lemaire arena of the LaSalle borough.

On the surface, which served as the rink no later than the last month, the Red Cross has deployed a dozen tents of what it calls its ” field hospitals “. For the first time on the territory of quebec.

“Normally, we are deploying overseas in areas of war, disaster, epidemics,” says the vice-president Pascal Mathieu.

This collaboration is born out of the need of the CIUSSS of the West-Island of Montreal to expand the capacity of the Hospital in LaSalle, located just to the side of the arena. Currently, there are only seven or eight beds available at the hospital.

The ten tents are each four beds, which will treat 40 people with the COVID-19. These patients should mainly come from Center for housing and long-term care (CHLSD) of the surrounding area.

“We want to give them the best chance of recovery. The doctors and nurses in NURSING homes know exactly at what point one can receive the patient, ” said the president and ceo of the CIUSSS Lynne McVey.

According to McVey, the situation tends to stabilise slowly in the CHSLD of its territory since the arrival of reinforcements from the staff.

She explained that the construction of a temporary hospital in LaSalle was part of the pandemic plan. Discussions began on 12 April with the borough and the Red Cross to deploy the installation.

A dozen teams consisting of doctors, nurses, and clerks to the beneficiaries will be mobilized to take care of the patients in this makeshift hospital.

The personnel comes first in the staff of the CIUSSS, but also banks, voluntary citizens ‘programs” I can help ” and “The power of” we “”. These apprentices attendants are trained by the experts of global health of the Red Cross.


Sunday afternoon, the media was invited to visit the premises before the first patients are welcomed at the beginning of the week.

The locker rooms will maintain their original purpose to allow staff to change before and after each shift, which gives them direct access to the ice rink.

Before the bench of the local players, we set the kitchen space, where meals are prepared before being distributed to patients. Then, in the center of the rink, under the scoreboard, we find the guard post of the nurses.

If the tents from the Red Cross, the hospital beds were provided by the CIUSSS, who is said to have on hand all the equipment and medication necessary. However, patients will have to be washed in their bed and will not have access to toilets.

“The individuals involved here are people who are sick, who need care and who are confined to bed to give them the best chance to recover,” repeated Mrs. McVey.

In the case where the patients ‘ health is deteriorating rapidly and that they must be intubated and get the help of a respirator, they will again be transferred to an intensive care unit dedicated to the COVID-19.

The mayor of the LaSalle borough, Manon Barbe, paid tribute to the collaboration between its employees, the CIUSSS and the Red Cross have managed to make the mobile hospital operational in eight days. The borough is responsible for the supply of water and electricity of the premises.

According to the most recent balance sheet of the regional direction of public health of Montreal, there have been 11 621 cases confirmed, including 938 deaths.

On the territory of the CIUSSS of the West Island of Montréal, there are 1167 confirmed cases.

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