Outbreak of COVID-19 at the psychiatric institute Douglas

Éclosion de COVID-19 à l’institut psychiatrique Douglas

Photo: Marie-France Coallier The Duty
The institut universitaire en santé mentale Douglas

Lisa-Marie Gervais and

Marco Bélair-Cirino

April 30, 2020

  • Health

The institute Douglas mental health university is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19. Not least of 16 patients and 22 staff, including orderlies, nurses and doctors, there have been reported positive with the COVID-19, confirmed the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) of the West-of-the-Island-of-Montreal on Wednesday night.

The new coronavirus has penetrated to the interior walls of the psychiatric emergency over the last few days, learned The Duty. The members of the nursing staff and administrative work have not been spared. In fact, half a dozen of them have received a diagnosis of the novel coronavirus since the start of the week. Brothers and sisters of work, who have symptoms of influenza, were still waiting Wednesday for the results of their screening.

This outbreak of cases occurs after the CIUSSS of the West-of-the-Island-of-Montreal has made the transfer of patients and the nursing staff of the psychiatry unit of the Lakeshore general hospital to a pavilion at the Douglas institute. The aim of the operation was to rid the Lakeshore general hospital, which is facing an outbreak of COVID-19. In total, 79 patients are infected with the new coronavirus in the establishment of Pointe-Claire designated to accommodate patients reported positive to the new coronavirus.

A resident physician is among the newly infected individuals at the Douglas institute. Alerted, the McGill University has reminded all residents of the Douglas institute emergency to be redeployed elsewhere in the health system, including in health care units classified as ” red “. The decision has raised some eyebrows, especially as it collides with the “new guidelines” aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19.


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In effect, the directors of education of the health network and McGill University have asked Sunday to residents to ” follow the policy “of a site-by-week” and even, ideally, a site by month, if possible “in addition to wearing the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate, and adopt a’ hand hygiene blameless “. “It is clear that a resident working in a clinical setting where an outbreak has been identified, it will not be able to work in a different clinical setting “, they say in a note to the service whose Duty it has obtained a copy. In the eyes of the managers are signatories to the document, ” the displacement of our residents across multiple sites is an unnecessary risk that promotes the spread of the virus among the health care institutions “.

Tense climate

The urgency of the Douglas institute provides care to people suffering from mental illness, continued her activities on Wednesday to a reduced workforce.

A doctor tells to Need to have been unable to give the leave to one of his patients as the residence for the elderly where he lives refuses to give him access to her room for fear that he brings with him the COVID-19. The same doctor said to have refused to admit an individual to the emergency for fear that he there contracted the new coronavirus. He preferred to entrust it, for the moment, to care for their loved ones.

A climate of mistrust that is installed on the complex of buildings surrounded by mature trees and green spaces. Recall that the flag CPC3, which usually houses patients with serious and persistent, had been the theatre of an outbreak of COVID-19 a few weeks ago. “The members of the staff are dissatisfied. They were not advised that they were at risk. They don’t know if the people under investigation are still working ? ” said one of them under the cover of anonymity. “And several staff members refuse to wear masks,” he continued.

The “stress” goes up in the buildings of the Douglas institute, is concerned about the president of the Union of professional health care on the West Island of Montréal, Johanne Riendeau. The situation is not foreign to the lack of staff, ” she says. “People are anxious. It is not easy to adhere to the “rule of two feet”. Patients are disorganized to the Douglas. We can’t rely on what they say. They go for walks. They are going to smoke. Some don’t want to wear a mask “, she says.

Routine screening ?

Among the hospitals that have extensive outbreaks, the Douglas institute and the hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont are one of the few who do not consistently pass testing to all new patients admitted and the nursing staff.

The hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, “this is not planned for the moment,” said Catherine Dion, communications of the CIUSSS of the East-of-the-Island-of-Montreal. Currently, there would be eight outbreaks in this hospital and Santa Cabrini hospital, the other hospital operated by this CIUSSS.

In the hospital Sacré-Cœur, where outbreaks have been reported in at least five units on four floors, a large-scale screening is underway. Same thing at the hospital of Verdun and Notre-Dame hospital, who do not experience an outbreak at this time, but testing for patients and also to the staff, but in the latter case, only if there is an outbreak of COVID. “After the first outbreak at the hospital of Verdun [in early April], we set to test any person that came in our hospitals and it is because of this that it has detected the second outbreak [at Verdun] “, said Jean-Nicolas Aubé, a spokesman for the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’île-de-Montréal.

Outside of Montreal, the CIUSSS of the eastern Townships has admitted to having been struggling with an outbreak in his hospital Fleurimont in Sherbrooke, but it would be ” under control “. “The reality is not at all the same as in Montreal,” said Félix Massé, spokesman for the CIUSSS of the eastern Townships. “We do not face up to several outbreaks in acute care. “

Outbreaks, and the overflow of emergencies have forced several hospitals to close units, transfer patients elsewhere, and to suspend surgeries. The hospital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Santa Cabrini hospital, the surgeries are suspended except for the most urgent and which do not require hospitalization. In the hospital Sacré-Cœur, which is to continue to offer its specialty in trauma, patients who do not have the COVID are transferred to the Jean-Talon hospital, in cold area, including those in general surgery. Others, who are positive, go to the hospital at Fleury. To the hospital of Our Lady and of Verdun, the suspension of certain surgical procedures, ordered as early as the first days of the confinement in mid-march, is still in force.

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