More than 4,300 people were treated in the hallways of Brampton Civic Hospital last year as staff struggled to deal with record patient volumes.

An internal memo obtained by CTV News Toronto reveals that a total of 4,352 patients had to be treated in the hallways of the hospital between April, 2016 and April, 2017.

The memo says that some of those patients remained on beds in the hallway for upwards of 70 hours due to a lack of available rooms.

“Hallway patients experience excessive noise and reduced privacy, which negatively affects their overall patient experience and quality of care, and may extend their overall length of stay,” the memo warned.

The memo written by the interim president and CEO of the William Osler Health System was sent to provincial health officials in July.

It warns that the emergency department at the Brampton Civic Hospital was only built to accommodate 90,000 visits per year but quickly exceeded that level after first opening in 2007.

In 2016/2017, the memo says that the hospital saw a record 138,000 emergency room visits with much of the increase resulting from a surge in “highly acute” patients that are most in need of care.

The memo adds that the “unrelenting population growth within the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is largely to blame for the increase in patient volumes, something that is likely to continue.

“High patient acuity and increased demand have resulted in an increase in the number of admitted patients in the emergency department who do not have an assigned inpatient bed,” the memo said. “In general, there were 33 admitted patients waiting for a bed daily in 2016/17, which is an 88% increase since 2013/14.”

Memo asks for $30M

The memo, sent to officials with the Central West LHIN, asks for an additional $30.2 million in funding to address overcrowding issues at both Brampton Civic Hospital and Peel Memorial Hospital.

Responding to news of the bed shortage in Question Period on Tuesday, Health Minister Eric Hoskins said that the Liberal government has increased the number of beds at Brampton Civic Hospitals by five per cent since 2013. He also said that Brampton Civic Hospital will get six additional beds as part of the planned 1,200 new beds for Ontario hospitals that was announced last week.

“How can six temporary beds fix a crisis that is impacting 4,352 patients in the hallways of Brampton Civic Hospital every year,” NDP Leader Andrew Horwath asked during question period.

Code Gridlock

The memo revealed that there were 65 days during the one-year period when patients were treated in the hallways at Brampton Civic Hospital.

The situation is common enough that the hospital has begun declaring “Code Gridlock” when overcrowding reaches such a point.

One woman, Jamie Lee, told CTV News Toronto that she spent five days receiving treatment for internal bleeding in the hallway at Brampton Civic and at first didn’t even get a bed.

“I was in so much pain that I collapsed on the floor screaming in pain and that's when I finally got a stretcher,” she said.

Another man, Tony Declara, who spent nine days in a hospital hallway at Brampton Civic described an equally chaotic scene.

“Whenever a stretcher had to get through they had to move my privacy wall. Some bashed into me,” he told CTV News Toronto.