Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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A cardiologist lashes out at those recalcitrant with health measures

Even harsher in his words in an interview with 98.5 FM on Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Poirier apologized. Of course, I went crazy and I apologize for the people who are doing the right thing, but you have to understand that the network is at its end.

The network is at its end mainly because of a lack of personnel, he argues.

Staff are exhausted, okay? There are 8,000 people in the network who are either sick, on sick leave, or they have changed jobs. 8000! That is in addition to managing COVID and managing people who have trouble understanding how it is that they do not understand. So that there, at some point, we come to the end.

Dr. Poirier unfortunately notes that many patients who end up in intensive care are people who did not respect the sanitary measures and who came together despite everything.

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Dr Paul Poirier, cardiologist at the Institut de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec

Photo: Radio-Canada

It takes us intensive care beds for these patients. If these beds are taken by COVID patients, well, they are patients who do not have to be operated on. It’s simple like that, it’s mathematical. They are communicating vessels.

Dr Paul Poirier, cardiologist at the IUCPQ

The edge of the precipice

The Legault government revealed this week that more than 140,000 patients are awaiting surgery in Quebec. At the Institut de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ),), specialists operate in four operating theaters rather than five normally.

With the load shedding, we go with the priorities and we try to save the furniture. The problem is that sometimes the legs break furniture because we are not able to go on time., laments Dr. Poirier, who strives to treat the most urgent cases to save lives while other suffering patients are confined to a waiting list.

That’s the problem with doctors, we try to keep it from having an impact on the quantity of life, but it will have an impact on the quality of life.

Dr Paul Poirier, cardiologist at the IUCPQ

The cardiologist draws an unfortunate parallel with prevention efforts in medicine which, too often, are a sword in the water. Everyone knows that smoking is not good, that eating scrap it’s not good and that not exercising is not good. However, people have to come to the edge of the precipice so that they can take charge. And here it is the same with COVID: we are on the edge of the precipice.

Double mission

The management ofIUCPQ wanted to put Dr. Poirier’s comments into perspective. The impacts of COVID-19 on the functioning of the hospital are undeniable, but Dr Daniel Lefrançois recalls that theIUCPQ, in addition to cardiology, also specializes in pulmonology.

It therefore made sense, according to him, for the hospital to be designated to treat patients with COVID-19. We do not only have cardiology, it is perhaps the most important mission in terms of volume, but it is not the only one and pulmonology is also very important in this. Our intensive care is also very important in this.

As for the volume of cardiac surgeries performed each week, the director of professional services indicates that the drop is less than 20% and that all patients who need emergency surgery are treated immediately.

Patients whose medical condition is deemed less urgent may be forced to wait a little longer, but the additional delays are not excessive according to Dr. Lefrançois. If we are two days later than the scheduled day, we are out of time, but it is not a time that is important, if you will, for the most part.

The number of patients on the waiting list for heart surgery has also halved, to 210 today. This improvement, however, is attributable, at least in part, to the fact that fewer patients are seen because they are afraid of coming to the hospital and catching COVID-19.

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