Code Zero Stats

Ambulance wait times were getting better in Hamilton, until last month.

In February there were 19 instances when only one or fewer ambulances were available for emergencies, that’s what’s known as a code zero.

The backlog is believed to be due to delays off-loading patients at hospitals.

Hamilton’s Chief Paramedic says February was a challenging month.

There was a code zero yesterday, so three have occurred so far in March.

Paramedics and Hamilton Public Health have been raising the alarm over the number of opioid overdoses that first responders attend, in some cases several in a single shift. But Chief Michael Sanderson says those calls are not responsible for more code zero events, they are challenging, but only make up about 1% of calls.

In February, more than 400 patients waited more than two hours before they were taken off an ambulance stretcher at a Hamilton Hospital.

The Ministry of Health says it is working on improving patient flow at hospitals. Sanderson says that includes legislation that would allow paramedics to take patients to urgent care centres or other alternative medical sites if appropriate.