Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my potassium level always high? I don't eat food with much potassium in it.

Almost all foods have potassium—serving size is very important. If you have diabetes, high blood glucose can make your potassium high. If you cannot determine why your potassium level is higher, ask to see your dietitian. Your dietitian will help you to learn which foods need to be limited due to high potassium content and other practical tips to help reduce potassium in your diet.                                 

Potassium is removed while you are on hemodialysis, so it is very important that you stay for your full treatment time. If you leave before 240 minutes have passed, you are missing out on valuable ‘removal’ time.

I am getting erythropoietin (Eprex®, EPO). Why is my hemoglobin still low?

If you have an infection, low iron or lose too much blood, your hemoglobin can drop even if you take erythropoietin. Additionally, it takes 4-6 weeks for the EPO to work.                     

How can I gain so much weight if I don't drink anything?

Without knowing it, you may eat too much salt. This makes your body retain fluid and increase your thirst, so that you drink more. You may also eat foods that have hidden water such as Jell-O®, soup, gravy and frozen foods like ice cream or sherbet that are fluid at room temperature.                                      


You may get muscle cramps in your feet, lower legs and hands during or after your treatments. This happens when fluid is removed too quickly or your calcium or phosphorus are out of balance. Follow your fluid and salt restrictions to keep your fluid gains in the best range. To reduce the cramps, your nurse may make changes to your treatment. If you get cramps during or after your treatment, a light massage or a warm cloth on the cramp may help. After treatment, try light exercise such as walking. Remember that you can’t stand up during your treatment.                                       

Itchy skin                                                      

Your skin can get itchy if there is too much phosphate in your blood. Many foods contain phosphorus. Please look at your diet information to help you decide which foods to limit. To lower your phosphate, you may need to take medications such as calcium carbonate (Tums®), sevelamer (Renagel®), and lanthanum (Fosrenol®). These are called ‘phosphate binders’ because they bind with phosphate so that less is absorbed by your body. In order for them to work, they must be taken during your meals & snacks as prescribed.                                                  
Dry skin also causes itchiness. Try using mild soap, bath oil and skin cream to stop the itching. Special creams are available by prescription from your kidney doctor.                                             

Bone Pain                                                      

When your phosphorus, calcium and parathyroid levels are out of normal range, they can lead to problems with your bones and joints. These levels are monitored closely. Your doctor, nurse, pharmacist and dietitian will talk with you about how to control these levels.                                    

Low blood pressure                                                 

You may get low blood pressure near the end of your treatment. This may make you yawn or make you feel dizzy, tired and cold, or as if people are talking to you through a tunnel. If you have these feelings, or feel "funny" tell your nurse. Your nurse will

  • stop or slow down fluid removal
  •  tilt your head back and your feet up so that more blood gets to your brain
  •  give you saline or a drink

To help prevent low blood pressure, it is important to follow your sodium and fluid restrictions and to limit food intake during dialysis.

Change in appetite
When you first start dialysis, you may not feel like eating very much. As the dialysis removes the waste products from your body, your appetite should return. Your can provide you with ideas for foods or supplements which may appeal more while your appetite is decreased. It may be easier to eat several small meals/snacks instead of three regular meals.

Changes in your energy level

When you first start dialysis, your energy level may be low. Having less hemoglobin (a protein that carries oxygen throughout your body) in your blood, or high waste products in your body may make you feel this way. As the dialysis removes these wastes, your energy should return. Many people feel tired right after dialysis, but feel better about 2 hours later. Many people return to their former activities, at work and at home after they start dialysis.

How do I deal with common problems?

The following are common problems which can be controlled or reduced by trying the tips that are suggested under each item. Tell your nurse or doctor if you have any of these problems.                                            


This may be caused by some of your medications or because of some of the changes to what you eat and drink. Ask your dietitian for suggestions of foods which are higher in fibre that can be included in your diet. If you have been less active, try to gradually increase your activity. If these tips don’t help talk to your doctor/ pharmacist about laxatives that are safe for you to take.                               

Too much fluid in your body                                              

If you have too much fluid in your body, you may get

  • swollen or puffy legs, ankles, face or hand                                                                           
  • high blood pressure
  •  shortness of breath                  
What do I need to know about taking my medications?

Your doctor prescribes medications for you to take. You need to know:

  • the reasons for taking the medications
  •  how and when to take them
  •  their side effects
  •  which ones you can’t take right before dialysis

If you take any other medications, tell your nurse, pharmacist or kidney doctor about all other medications that you take. This includes:

  • Vitamins and supplements
  • herbal products and remedies
  • medications that other doctors prescribe for you
  • medications that you buy without a prescription such as allergy, pain and cold pills. These are called over-the- counter medications.                                                           

Talk to your pharmacist and/or kidney doctor before you take any over-the counter medications or any herbal products. Some herbal products can create serious problems for people with kidney disease, and can interact with medications.
Your medications are routinely reviewed by the renal team. Please remember to bring in all your medications every 6 weeks.

Do I Need Vaccinations?

Vaccinations not only protect you from diseases, they protect others around you. Older adults, people with chronic illnesses and children could become seriously ill if exposed to certain diseases. Because you are on hemodialysis, you have a higher risk of some illnesses. You can receive vaccinations against some of them:

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. The Hepatitis B vaccine is given in a series of injections. When your body gets the vaccine, it makes antibodies. These antibodies attack the Hepatitis B virus if it gets in your body. Some people already have the antibodies and do not need the vaccine, so before we give you the vaccine, we must take a sample of your blood to see if you already have antibodies.

Influenza (flu) Vaccination

Your kidney doctors strongly recommend that you get your flu shot every year. You can get it from your family doctor, at a flu shot clinic or from your hemodialysis nurse on a treatment day.

Pneumococcal Vaccination

The pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for people with certain medical conditions, including chronic kidney disease and people 65 years of age and older. It is very important to receive this vaccine to protect yourself from infections caused by the Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. Please speak to your renal team or family doctor about receiving this vaccine.
You should get this shot every five years to protect yourself against this kind of pneumonia.

Should I wear a Medic Alert bracelet?
  • It is a good idea to wear a Medic Alert bracelet. This lets others know that you are a kidney patient. You can get an application form online, from the Hemodialysis Unit, Kidney Foundation, or your family doctor.
  • When you fill out the application, make sure you include
    • your medical conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes 
    • medications
    • allergies
    • your fistula location
Is it OK to travel?
  • There are hemodialysis units across Canada and in many parts of the world. However, you must plan several months in advance due to limited space and staff. There is likely to be a charge for hemodialysis outside of Ontario.
  • If you plan to travel, speak to your nurse/care team as soon as possible. They can provide assistance and medical documentation. Remember, arrangements must be made well in advance.
How can I reduce the amount of fluid that I drink?

Here are a few tips:

  • Eat less salt and salty foods so you do not get as thirsty
  • Measure fluids to learn how much fluid is in cups, glasses and bowls
  • Use smaller cups and glasses
  • Drink only if you are thirsty
  • Use crushed ice mixed with very small amounts of fluid
  • Suck hard candies or chew gum
  • Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth often
  • Eat frozen grapes and other fruits that are low in potassium
  • Count frozen foods that melt when they are at room temperature as part of your fluid intake
  • If you have diabetes, keep blood sugars under control
Will I need to reduce the amount of fluids I drink?
  • If you are retaining fluids (swollen feet or hands, trouble breathing, etc.) and/or your urine output decreases, you will need to reduce your fluid intake.
  • Reducing your fluid will:
    • Help control your blood pressure and support your heart.
    • Reduce fluid build-up in the lungs and makes it easier to breath.
    • Keep you comfortable during dialysis. You will be less likely to feel nauseated and experience muscle cramping
  • A fluid is anything that is liquid at room temperature. Jell-O®, ice cream, soup, popsicles, sherbet, ice and sauces
Will I need to change the way I eat or drink?
  • Hemodialysis is intermittent, unlike healthy kidneys, which work continuously. You may need to restrict the type and amounts of food and fluids you eat and drink in between dialysis treatments.
  • You and your dietitian will work together to come up with a diet that includes food you like and limits foods which are higher in sodium (salt) and phosphorus. Your dietitian will determine if you need to adjust the amount of potassium you eat and ensure you’re getting sufficient protein.
  • Be careful when you buy low sodium (salt) food products and salt substitutes. Some contain potassium instead of sodium. Read the labels carefully. Salt substitutes like NoSalt®, Half Salt® and Nu-Salt® should not be used, because these products are high in potassium. Herb based alternatives like Mrs. Dash® and Club House Salt- Free Seasonings® are better choices for you to use. Your dietitian can give you a list of ideas for low sodium seasonings to flavour your foods.
Can I have visitors while I am having Hemodialysis?

We follow the KHSC Outpatient Visitor policy, which is updated regularly due to local COVID public health guidelines:

  • Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied, and supervised, by another adult at all times.
  • Visitors that are feeling unwell, have infection, respiratory illness or flu-like illness should not come to the hemodialysis unit.
  • There may be interruptions to family presence to protect the privacy rights of other patients or to maintain safety and security
  • We request that visitors and drivers wait in the waiting room to keep hallways clear and accessible for safety reasons.
Can I eat while I am having treatments?

Plan to eat your meals before or after your dialysis treatment. Eating a lot of food during dialysis may cause your blood pressure to drop quickly. This may affect the amount of fluid and waste products that can be removed.

Also, if your blood pressure drops you may feel faint. If this happens while you are eating, you may choke. We recommend that you have, at most, a small snack during your dialysis treatment. Your dietitian can provide you with suggestions for acceptable snacks.

What can I do while I am having my treatments?

You can do some activities while having dialysis. For example, you may wish to:

  • Watch TV
  • Read
  • Knit
  • Do a crossword
  • Listen to a radio, with earphones
  • Play cards
  • Work on your laptop computer

Keep in mind that you cannot stand up during your treatments. Your nurse will talk to you about how active you can be during your dialysis.                    

What tests can I expect to have?
  • We take blood from your fistula or dialysis line regularly for routine blood tests. We may need to test your blood more often if you have other problems.
  • Your care team will talk with you about the test results and when necessary, will assist you in making changes to your medications, dialysis prescription or meal plan.
  • There may be other tests that your doctors will request from time to time, depending on your health. Please keep the team informed of any tests that other doctors order for you.
When Should I Call for Help?
  • If there is any bleeding (Apply pressure. If bleeding does not stop, call the hemodialysis unit).
  • If you feel ill, get chills, become feverish, or see any drainage around your CVC or dressing
  • If your dressing becomes loosened (secure it with tape then call)
  • If the CVC falls out (apply pressure for 10 to 15 minutes, cover it with clean gauze, tape and call)

*Hemodialysis Unit phone number: (613) 548-3232 x4401
24hr Emergency number: (613) 548-3232 - ask the Operator to page the Nephrologist on call

*Home Hemodilaysis nurses (613) 549-6666 x 7125

When appropriate, call 911 first.

How do I take care of my dialysis line?

You may have a dialysis line inserted to allow for dialysis until you have a fistula created and it is ready to use.

You may hear your dialysis line called by many names—Perm-Cath, central venous catheter (CVC), central line etc.                       

The skin around the area where your dialysis line enters your body will be covered with a dressing. You must keep the dialysis line and the dressing dry, so you will need to have a tub or sponge bath while it is in place. Your dialysis line dressing should only be changed by your hemodialysis nurse.

How do I care for my fistula after treatments?

You may wear a tensor bandage on your fistula arm after dialysis. Take it off when you get home, or sooner if it feels too tight.
We put a bandage over your fistula after your treatment. Remove the bandage 4 hours after your treatment. The bandage may stick to your fistula. If it does, try soaking it with warm water. To avoid infection, you must remove the bandage and keep your fistula clean.
If a needle site bleeds after you leave the unit, put pressure on the site until the bleeding stops. It is a good idea to carry a few sterile gauze squares with you. Use the gauze squares to cover the site before you apply pressure. If the bleeding does not stop, go to the nearest emergency department.

How do I take care of my fistula?
  • Your fistula is your lifeline for dialysis. It’s important that you know how to take care of it and how to check that it’s still working. Your fistula should feel as if it is buzzing or purring. It also makes a swishing sound called a bruit. These are normal. If they stop, call the Renal Unit right away. It may mean that your fistula is clotted. We must act quickly to save your fistula.                                                           
  • Don’t let anyone use your fistula except the dialysis nurses and doctors. It’s your lifeline, so you must be responsible for protecting it.
  • Don’t let anyone
    • take blood from your fistula arm
    • start an intravenous (IV) in your fistula arm
    • take your blood pressure on your fistula arm
  • Don’t carry bags or purses over your fistula arm.                                          
  • Don’t sleep on your fistula arm.
  • Don’t wear clothes with tight sleeves.

If you think your fistula is infected, tell your nurse at your next dialysis. Your fistula may be infected if it:

  • Looks red
  • Feels tender or warm/hot
  • Swells
  • Hurts
  • Has fluid oozing from it

Protect your fistula when lifting, playing sports, or working. If you think you regularly do some activity that may result in your fistula getting ‘knocked about’, please talk to your nurses or doctors about it. They can advise you as to the best way to protect your fistula during your activities.

What can I do to stay healthy on hemodialysis?
  • Take an active role in learning about kidney disease and treatment
  • Consider home hemodialysis and discuss with your healthcare team
  • Follow your prescribed diet and fluid plan
  • Take your medications as prescribed and tell your kidney doctor about any side effects
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle—stop smoking, exercise, maintain a healthy weight
Does hemodialysis hurt?
  • Dialysis itself should not hurt. When the needles are put into your fistula it may hurt. However, this sensation does lessen over time. Once the needles are placed in your fistula, you should not experience any pain. If you do, you must tell your nurse so that the problem can be fixed.
  • Sometimes, people have symptoms such as cramps, headaches, nausea or dizziness during dialysis. Your nurse may slow down the rate of fluid removal or increase your time on the machine. You can help yourself to avoid these symptoms by following your fluid and diet plan. Having to remove too much fluid during a dialysis treatment is one of the things that may make you feel uncomfortable during dialysis.                                                        
  • Make sure you tell your nurse if you are having any pain or even just feeling ‘funny’ during your treatment.
How does my diet change once I’m on peritoneal dialysis?

The Ontario Renal Network suggests the following nutrients in foods to be avoided or added:


-limit eating foods that are high in phosphorus such as dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream), nuts and seeds, fast food, soft drinks, seasoned meats.


-eat fewer sweets and starchy food such as baked goods, rice, corn or potatoes.

-the PD dialysis fluid contains sugar which can make it difficult to control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes, speak to your diabetes team to review your blood sugar regularly.


-limit the amount of salt in your diet, avoid fast foods, packaged and processed foods.


-depending on the frequency of your dialysis treatments, your healthcare team will help you determine whether you need to follow a high or low potassium diet.


-proteins may be filtered out with dialysis, so you will likely need to eat more protein. High protein food choices include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, and cottage cheese.


-add high fiber foods to your diet, including apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries, oatmeal, barley, corn bran cereal, peas, green or yellow beans, carrots, cabbage, etc.


-while you are on peritoneal dialysis, you may have to limit fluid intake depending on your weight, blood pressure and symptoms.

-Fluid includes anything that pours or becomes liquid at room temperature such as water, soup, juice, milk, ice cream, popsicles, alcoholic beverages and gelatin. Your healthcare team will help you determine your daily fluid allowance.

For more information on diet changes while you are on peritoneal dialysis, please visit:

When Should I Call for Help?
  • If you are not sure what solutions to use for your treatment
  • Cycler issues or alarms call Baxter technical support
  • If you have cloudy drain bags or wet contamination come to KGH site Emergency Department or your nearest Emergency Department if you are not able to get to KGH

Baxter Technical Support: 1-800-553-6898

Peritoneal Dialysis Unit
Phone:    613-548-1310
1 800-567-5722

Fax: 613-548-1394

Hours: 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday (We are closed weekends & holidays)

After 5pm for Emergencies only:
613-548-3232 Press ”0” & ask to speak to PD Nurse on-call

How is access to the peritoneal cavity established?
  • A permanent catheter (soft plastic tube) is surgically inserted in your belly to allow for safe, consistent and easy access to your abdominal cavity.     
  • After your doctor and your peritoneal dialysis team have assessed your situation, they will work with you to decide on which type of catheter is best for you. Catheters are inserted either at the bedside using local anesthetic, or in the operating room.
What do the bloodwork results mean?
  • Creatinine- creatinine is a waste product of muscle activity, and your serum creatinine level is used to indicate how well your kidneys are filtering the blood. A high serum creatinine level indicates decreased kidney function. This means that your kidneys aren’t able to remove waste products from your blood the way they should.
  • Urea- a waste product from the breakdown of protein
  • GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate)- An accurate measure of the ability of your kidneys to filter your blood. Your GFR is used to determine the severity of kidney disease and allows the doctor to plan your management accordingly. If your GFR number is low, your kidneys are not working as well as they should.
  • eGFR (estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate)- an estimate of the ability of your kidneys to filter your blood using a calculation involving creatinine, age, body size and gender.
  • Albumin- a protein that is not normally present in the urine. Albumin found in urine may indicate damage to the kidneys.
How close am I to needing dialysis?

Typically, when your GFR is ≤ 10mL/min, meaning that your kidney function is at approximately 10% of what is normal, dialysis is initiated. However, the decision to start dialysis is individualized based on your signs and symptoms as well as your blood work results.

Where can my children get tested for COVID-19?

KHSC and PCH staff who have a child who requires testing for COVID-19 can make an appointment between 1230 to 1300 for testing at the Beechgrove Assessment Centre by calling 613-548-2376.

Please note:

  • Where the staff member and child both require testing, the staff member should contact OHSW and a joint appointment will scheduled at the Assessment Centre.
  • Where only the child requires testing, staff are asked to contact the Assessment Centre directly.
  • Swabs for staff and their child(ren) will be sent to the KHSC lab daily to ensure timely results and to support return to work.
  • COVID-19 test results will be available via: 
  • If the child’s result cannot be accessed online, staff can call HDH site at  ext. 4204 and leave a voicemail as per current process for the public.
Where can staff get tested for COVID-19?

The COVID-19 swabbing site for KHSC and Providence Care Hospital (PCH) staff is in the Community Assessment Centre at the Beechgrove Complex, 51 Heakes Lane. The process for swabbing does not change. Staff must still be assessed by phone by the Occupational Health RN and then referred for testing by Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness (OHSW). OHSW will provide the staff member with the scheduled appointment for that day between 1200 and 1300.

What do I do if I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 you should not report to work and are required to contact the Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness team immediately to schedule a swabbing appointment. Further instructions will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

Who do I talk to if I have concerns about my safety and COVID-19?

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, please reach out to your manager, a member of the Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness, and/or the Infection Prevention and Control team.

What are the guidelines and restrictions for visitors?

The guidelines and restrictions to visitor presence at KHSC is ongoing and ever evolving in order to accommodate the needs of our patients and community while also preventing the spread of COVID-19. In order to learn more about the current visitor restrictions, please click here.

*Please note that you will need Google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently at one of KHSC’s sites.

Can I visit my family member/friend who is in the hospital while I am on my break?

While we understand your desires to visit family and friends in order to offer them support, employees are currently being asked to adhere to the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions. This means that you are not able to visit family or friends unless you enter the facility as per the directives outlined in the Visitor (Family Presence) Restrictions Policy.  Additionally, you will need to re-screen yourself as an employee before returning to your work duties.

*Please note that you will need Google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently at one of KHSC’s sites.

Where are the visitor entrances?

Patients and visitors at the HDH site are asked to enter through the Jeanne Mance main entrance off of Brock Street in order to be screened. Patients who are visiting the Urgent Care Centre are still permitted to use that entrance; screening will occur at the door.

Patients at the KGH site are asked to enter at the Davies 1 main entrance off of Stuart Street in order to be screened. Patients seeking care at the Cancer centre are permitted to enter through the Burr 0 entrance off of King Street; screening will occur as they enter. Similarly, patients seeking care at the Emergency Department are still permitted to use that entrance; screening will occur as they enter.

Where are they employee entrances?
  • Employees who report to work at the HDH site are permitted to enter through the Sydenham 2 entrance Monday to Friday 6am to 5pm. Between the hours of 5pm and 6am, staff are required to use the Sydenham 1 entrance. On Saturday and Sunday, employees are required to use the Jeanne Mance main entrance off of Brock Street.
  • Employees who report to work at the KGH site are permitted to enter through the Watkins 2 or Connell 0 entrances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What is employee screening?

Employee screening is a series of questions that you must answer before being able to report to work. This process ensures employee, patient, and visitor safety during COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information, please review the Screening and Hospital Access page on the KHSC Intranet.

*Please note that you will need Google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently on the KHSC network.

Is there an employee bus pass?

As an employee of KHSC you are able to take advantage of the discounted Kingston Transit bus pass program called Kingston Transpass. This entitles you to a unlimited bus pass that is deducted directly from your pay check monthly. To learn more about the Kingston Transpass program, please click here.

Where can I park?

Parking around the KGH and HDH locations can be limited.

  • To learn more about the City of Kingston Parking locations and charges associated, click here.
  • To learn about Queen’s parking available to KHSC staff and the charges associated, click here.
How do I call in sick for a shift?

If you are unable to attend work due to illness, please contact the KHSC Sick Line at 613-549-6666 extension 7425 (SICK) and your manager.

Below are some other important things to remember when you are calling in sick:

  • Employees need to call in each day they are sick.
  • Employees who need to be replaced when away should also call to indicate the day they are returning, this assists the staffing team when allocating resources for the day.
  • Employees should call in at least one hour prior to the beginning of the day shift. Where possible more notice should be given.
  • Employees scheduled after 12:00 noon should give at least four hours notice. Where possible more notice should be given.

Once you have reached 4 consecutive shifts absent, you will need to contact Occupational Health.

What is Career Hub?

Career Hub is KHSC’s internal portal where employees are able to review and apply for any internal job postings. For questions regarding the Career Hub portal, please reach out to the Recruitment team.

How do I apply to internal job postings at KHSC?

To apply for an internal posting, you are required to be a permanent or temporary staff member who is currently employed by Kingston Health Sciences Centre. This means you possess a valid KHSC ID number and are paid by Kingston Health Sciences Centre payroll. Staff can apply for positions at either site of KHSC via Career Hub using your KHSC username/password and update your internal profile.

*Please note that you will need google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently at one of KHSC’s sites.

How can I contact my Union?

For the contact information of your union representatives, please refer to the Union Contact Information on the Employee and Labour Relations page of the Intranet.

*Please note that you will need google Authenticator in order to view this information if you are not currently at one of KHSC’s sites.

Where can I learn more about wellness?

Ensuring your own physical, mental, and emotional health is extremely important. To learn about the different wellness resources available to employees, please visit the KHSC Wellness website.

What do I do if I cannot register for WorkPerks?

It can take up to 3 weeks to process and enroll new employees into the WorkPerks program. If you are experiencing issues 3 weeks after your start date, please reach out to the Total Rewards Team for guidance.

Where is my employee number and how do I get it?

Your employee number will appear on your fist paystub. If you are in need of it before this instance, please contact the People Services Centre at

Where can I get something to eat?

There are a number of different food options and places to eat while you are at KHSC. To learn more about these different locations, please click here.

What do I do if my pay is incorrect?

If you have questions or concerns regarding your pay, please contact your manager or a representative from the Payroll team.

How do I clock/sign in for a shift?

Clocking in for your shift will depend on your departments specific processes. Please reach out to your manager to determine the correct steps.

When can I see my schedule in Kronos?

New Employees who are a part of Kronos may notice that there is a delay in the creation of their schedule. This delay can take about a week. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your manager. 

What is Kronos?

Kronos is the time keeping system used by various departments at KHSC. If you have been deemed as a part of Kronos, you will receive further training on how to use it (i.e. clock in/out, request time off, swap shifts, etc.) in your KnowledgeNow account.

Where do I report for work? Where do I go for my first shift?

If you have concerns about where you are going on your first day (i.e. how to find your department), please review the maps below:

If you have not been given specific direction on where you are to report to, please reach out to your manager in order to learn more.

What is my schedule and how do I find it?

If you have not yet received your schedule, please contact your manager.

Moving forward, your schedule will be provided to you as per your department’s specific process. For example, some areas receive their schedule by email, while other employees are a part of the Kronos time keeping system.

Who do I contact to learn more about IPO?

To learn more about IPO, please click here or contact the Interprofessional Learning Specialists in Professional Practice.

Do I need to attend IPO?

IPO is only required for some positions at KHSC. If you are to attend IPO, you will receive notification from both your recruitment advisor and a member from Professional Practice.

What is IPO?

IPO is Inter-professional Orientation. It is additional training for clinical staff and is run by Professional Practice. To learn more about IPO, please click here.

Will I be provided more time after today to complete my remaining courses?

Please speak with your manager to discuss the options available to you to complete any courses that remain in your My Learning tab after orientation.

Why are there so many courses assigned to me?

The courses assigned to you are determined by your position and department. These assignments are determined by experts in the organization and have buy-in from KHSC leadership. If you believe that you have been assigned a course in error, please reach out to your manager and contact

What if I don’t finish the 6 priority courses?

If you are unable to complete all of the 6 priority courses before 16:00, please reach out to for some guidance. 

What do I do if I finish the 6 priority courses?

If you complete all 6 priority courses before 16:00 (the end of the Virtual New Employee Welcome), continue working on your eLearning by proceeding to the additional courses that are listed in your My Learning tab in KnowledgeNow.

What are the 6 priority courses?

The six priority courses for you to complete as an employee are:

  1. Accessibility Training
  2. Annual Emergency Codes Review – Code Red, Green, and Orange
  3. Health and Safety Awareness Training
  4. WHMIS
  5. Annual Privacy and ConnectingOntario Review for KHSC Staff
  6. French Language Services Act

If you have any questions regarding these courses please refer to the Guide to Mandatory Employee Training or contact

What do I do if I have issues with KnowledgeNow (i.e. courses won’t load/duplicate courses/having issues logging in)?

If you are experiencing any issues or have any questions regarding your eLearning courses in KnowledgeNow, please email for guidance.

How can I enroll in Google Authenticator/Multifactor Authentication from home?

Typically, in order to register with Google Authenticator, you need to be on KHSC’s network; however, there is now a process for you to complete this remotely. To begin this process you will need to call Help Desk at 613-549-6666 extension 4357.

What is Google Authenticator/Multi-Factor Authentication?

When KHSC employees want to access different KHSC applications (email/Kronos/intranet) outside of the hospital network (i.e. from home) they need their KHSC username, password, and a 6 digit temporary token. In order to get the token, you must install and register the Google Authenticator app on your phone.

This multi-factor authentication process ensures that all of our patient and employees’ information if protected.

To download google authenticator onto your phone, please click here.

Who do I contact if I am experiencing issues with Microsoft Teams?

If you are experiencing issues with Microsoft Teams (i.e. unable to join, cannot see presenters, audio not working), please contact your host at and wait for further instructions and troubleshooting.

What do I do if my KHSC username and password are not working?

If you are unable to use your KHSC username and temporary password to log into the computers (at KHSC sites), your email, or the intranet, please contact Help Desk by calling 613-549-6666 extension 4357

If you are having issues logging into the KnowledgeNow, please email

What do I do if I have completed my eLearning in advance of orientation?

If you have completed all of the eLearning that has been assigned to you in KnowledgeNow (not just the 6 priority courses that are highlighted in the Guide to Mandatory Employee Training), you and your manager may receive an email from KnowledgeNow providing further instructions.

If you do not receive this email, please contact so we can confirm your completion and provide your further instructions.

How long is the KHSC Orientation?

You will be scheduled for a full 8 hour shift running from 08:00-16:00. During this shift you will be expected to complete only orientation-related tasks. We will run reports throughout the day to confirm attendance and completion of the tasks outlined in the agenda and provided to you by your hosts.

Employees who do not work to complete the tasks outlined or who are not in attendance will not be paid.

How can I contact the orienation host outside of Microsoft Teams?

If you are experiencing issues joining the meeting or have a question regarding your attendance, please email

If you are experiencing issues logging into KnowledgeNow or have questions regarding your eLearning, please email

What do I do if I have lost the invitation with the link to orienation?

If you have lost the initial invitation containing the Microsoft Teams link to your New Employee Welcome, please reach out to your host by emailing

Can I use my phone to attend orientation?

Completing the Mandatory Employee Training and participating in the New Employee Welcome is extremely challenging from your phone.  As such, it is recommended that you attend orientation using a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Phones (either used for video attendance or conferencing) should only be used in emergency situations.

How do I attend orientation from home?

If you and your recruitment advisor have made arrangements with your manager to attend KHSC’s New Employee Welcome and Orientation from home, you will need to ensure that you have completed the steps outlined here.

Where are the computer labs?

The two computer labs at the KGH site are located on Dietary 2 (capacity of 8 people per lab).

The computer lab at the HDH site is located on Jonson 1 (capacity of 6 people).

*Please note that these rooms have a required maximum capacity (listed above) due to COVID-19 restrictions. Physical distancing and masking protocols should be adhered to while in these spaces.

What do I do if I have an Occupational Health appointment during orientation?

In the rare event that you have been scheduled to attend an Occupational Health appointment during your scheduled orientation, please send an email outlining the situation to the following individuals:

  1. The host of your orientation at
  2. Your Recruitment Advisor

A solution will be negotiated on a case-by case basis.

**Please note that your attendance in orientation is required. In some cases, this can impact your start date. If you have any questions about missed time or changes to your schedule due to missed time, please contact your manager.

What do I do if I have a personal appointment/or are scheduled to work a shift during orientation?

Your participation in orientation is mandatory and planned in advance. If you have a personal appointment that cannot be rescheduled or if you have been scheduled to work a shift during orientation, please send an email outlining the situation to the following individuals:

  1. The host of your orientation at
  2. Your Manager
  3. Your Recruitment Advisor

A solution will be negotiated on a case-by case basis.

**Please note that your attendance in orientation is required. In some cases, this can impact your start date. If you have any questions about missed time or changes to your schedule due to missed time, please contact your manager.

What do I do if I am sick or if my child is sick on orientation day?

If you or a dependent falls ill on the date of your orientation and you are therefore unable to attend, please send an email to the following individuals:

  1. The host of your orientation at
  2. Your Manager
  3. Your Recruitment Advisor

**Please note that your attendance in orientation is required and you will be rescheduled to attend at a later date. In some cases, this can impact your start date. If you have any questions about missed time or changes to your schedule due to missed time, please contact your manager.

Where can I pick up my badge and username/password information?

Please pick up your KHSC badge and IT credentials (usernames and temporary passwords) from the Security Office in Dietary 1 at the KGH site after the Wednesday before your scheduled orientation date. This information will be required during orientation and all shifts moving forward.

*Please note that temporary employees will be required to pay a $10.00 fee for their ID badge. This will be deducted from your first pay, and returned when your contract ends or if you become a permanent employee.

Where is Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness?

KGH site: Armstrong 1

HDH site: Mary Alice 2

What do I do if I have already been fit tested before?

If you have recently completed at Respiratory Mask Fit Test and have a valid piece of confirmation of the test (i.e. a card/record of the test) please submit this to Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness and they will provide you with further instruction.

What is Respiratory Mask Fit Testing?

Respiratory Mask Fit testing is a test conducted by Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness to determine which N95 mask is the best fit for your face.

Not all roles are required to complete this test. If your role needs to complete Respiratory Mask Fit testing, you will receive notification from the Recruitment and Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness teams.

How do I schedule my Occupational Health appointment?

If your recruitment advisor has not provided you with a date for an Occupational Health Appointment* or if you have lost the appointment invitation, please contact your recruitment advisor as soon as possible to make arrangements.

*Please note that this appointment is a requirement for your employment and missing this appointment can impact your start date at KHSC.

Where do I submit my Pre-Placement Communicable Disease Screening/results of my TB testing?

Please submit the results to both the Pre-Placement Communicable Disease Screening and your TB testing to the Occupational Health Safety and Wellness team located in Armstrong 1 at the KGH site.

*Please note that these documents are required and delays in their submission can have impacts on your start date.

Why do I need to verify my SIN number to the Total Rewards team?

To ensure that our records are accurate, we must verify the SIN number that was initially provided to us matches what is on your card. In order to do this you must do one of the following:


  • Bring your SIN card to Watkins 4 at the KGH site and verify it with one of the Total Rewards Assistants
What do I do if my Criminal Record Check is late?

If you are unable to submit a Criminal Record Check before your start date, please contact Stephanie Abrams ( immediately to make arrangements to sign an affidavit.

**Please note that a delay in submitting your Criminal Record Check can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

Where can I drop off my employee documents after hours?

If you are submitting your employee documents after hours, please consider submitting the documents digitally (see below)  or use the drop-box on Watkins 4.

You can also submit scanned or photo versions of your employee documents (with the exception of CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK) to

**Please note that a delay in submitting your employee documents can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

Can I take a photo of my documents or scan them and email them?

Yes! With the exception of your Criminal Record Check*, you are welcome to send photos or scans of your employee documents to

Please note that KHSC requires original copies of your Criminal Record Check that are either submitted in physical form to the Total Rewards team on Watkins 4, or shared directly by the Police Department (using the ‘share’ function on their website).

**Please note that a delay in submitting your employee documents can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

How do I submit my employee documents?

You can submit any physical copies of your employee documents to the Total Rewards team located on Watkins 4 at the KGH site. They are available from 8:00-16:00 Monday through Friday.

If you are submitting your employee documents after hours, please consider submitting the documents digitally (see below) or use the drop-box on Watkins 4.

You can also submit scanned or photo versions of your employee documents (with the exception of CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK) to

**Please note that a delay in submitting your employee documents can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

Who can I talk to if I am not sure how to fill-out a form?

If you are having issues completing a form, please reach out to the Total Rewards team or contact your manager.

** Please note that KHSC is not permitted to offer advice to employees regarding the provincial or federal tax forms. These questions should be directed towards a financial institution.

Where can I find the required new employee documents?

A checklist of all of the required employee documents with links to copies of each form can be found here.

**Please note that a delay in submitting your employee documents can result in notifications to your manager and can have impacts on your pay.

Sample Question - New Employee Info

This is where the answer appears.

Can I have water labour or birth?

We support water labour for pain control and waterbirth in our unit. For more information visit our types of birthing page.

You can also read our brochure for more information. 

What is Health Care Tomorrow and how does it impact this integration?

Health Care Tomorrow: Hospital Services, is a project that has been undertaken by the seven hospitals in our region (KGH, HDH, Providence Care, Quinte Health Care, Brockville General Hospital, Lennox and Addington General Hospital and Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital) along with the South East Local Health Integration Network, the Community Care Access Centre and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. Together these organizations are looking for opportunities to share services on a regional level.

While the KGH and HDH integration announcement is not directly linked to the work that was started as part of Health Care Tomorrow, the project did serve as a helpful starting point for conversations as we began to look at integrating ourselves and deepening the partnership between our two hospitals. Our local integration plan is consistent with the intent of Health Care Tomorrow, which is to provide high quality, patient-centred and efficient services to patients in the South East. 

Will this impact jobs?

It is too early to know if there will be any specific impact on jobs, however we do know that we will continue to deliver all of the services we currently offer to patients and families. That means we will continue to need the individuals who currently provide this care. We do anticipate there will be a reorganization of the management structure within the new academic health sciences centre.

As this process unfolds we will regularly provide updates to our staff, unions and all our stakeholders to ensure that they are aware of changes that are taking place. We are also committed to providing them with the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas with us as the process unfolds.

Will there be any reduction in services?

There are no plans to reduce the services offered on either site. Under the new entity, each site will continue to fulfill its unique role with the KGH site providing complex-acute and specialty care and the HDH site providing acute-ambulatory care. The services currently offered by KGH and HDH will continue to be offered by the new academic health science centre and we will continue to preserve, respect and honour the unique missions and cultures of both sites as we work more closely together.

Is this being done to save money?

This is first and foremost about making a bold step for our community to improve the experience of patients and families by delivering better and more coordinated care. We believe that by integrating our hospitals we will provide more efficient care that may also result in some financial savings.

Will Hotel Dieu Hospital maintain its Catholic identity?

We remain committed to honouring the unique missions and cultures of both sites as we move forward. The Hotel Dieu site will retain its Catholic identity and mission, and KGH will remain a secular site.

Who approved this integration?

The choice to move forward with the integration was reached by both hospitals after consultation with the South East Local Health Integration Network, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as well as the Roman Catholic sponsors of Hotel Dieu Hospital, Catholic Health International. With their support and with the agreement in principle of Kingston Archbishop Brendan O’Brien there is clear consensus in moving forward with the integration. 

How quickly will this process unfold?

Over the next several months, the hospitals will begin formal planning to establish the legal and operational structures for the new academic health sciences centre. During this time, the Interim CEO at KGH, Jim Flett, and Dr. Pichora, in his role as CEO at HDH, will work closely together to develop a transition plan. A joint team will be charged with leading this process and will also be engaging with the community to seek their input. It is anticipated that it will take up to 12 months to form the new corporation, at which time Dr. Pichora will assume the role of CEO.

Who will lead the new organization?

HDH’s current Chief Executive Officer, Dr. David Pichora, will be the inaugural President and CEO of the new academic health science centre. The Boards of both hospitals and a selection committee carefully considered the needs of the new organization and felt that as a practicing physician who works at both KGH and HDH, in combination with his administrative role at HDH, Dr. Pichora was the ideal person to lead this new organization. His experience bridges both hospitals from an administrative, clinical and academic perspective and he embodies the already existing integration between the two hospitals.

Why are you integrating the hospitals?

The two Boards chose this direction as way to provide better, more integrated acute care for patients and families. This is an exciting, progressive approach to providing care. Many of our patients receive care at both HDH and KGH and we believe that the more closely we work together, the better experience we will deliver for patients, families and staff. There will also be the added benefit of a reduction in duplication between the two sites. For example, we will only need to produce one Quality Improvement Plan, one budget and undertake one accreditation process to name just a few examples.

What is taking place between KGH and Hotel Dieu?

The Board of Directors of Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) have agreed to create a new integrated academic health sciences centre that will bring together the operations of the two hospitals. The new organization will operate as one hospital with one budget, on two separate sites, and will be overseen by one Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and Executive team.

What is Clostridium difficile Infection (or C. difficile)?

Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) is often abbreviated to C. difficile or C. diff for short.

C. difficile is a germ that can be found, on occasion, in people’s bowels. It does not always cause problems or symptoms but in some cases can. In some people who are also taking antibiotics, the germ can grow because the antibiotics kill off many of the “good” and harmless germs that normally prevent the C. difficile from growing to high numbers.

C. difficile makes a toxin that damages the fragile lining of the bowel causing inflammation and loose watery bowel movements (diarrhea) and inflammation.

Where will the information about my family go?

The information you provide will be stored in your genetics chart in the Medical Genetics office or the Familial Oncology Program office. These offices are part of Kingston Health Sciences Centre and will be protected under provincial health privacy laws. For more information about privacy at KHSC, please click here

Who pays for genetic counselling and/or genetic testing?

This service is covered by your provincial health insurance. Any exceptions will be discussed ahead of time.

Do I have to have genetic testing?

The decision to have genetic testing is a very personal one. The genetic counsellor or medical geneticist will talk to you about the benefits and limitations of genetic testing and will help you decide whether or not testing is right for you and your family. Most genetic tests are done using a blood sample.

What do I need to do to prepare for a genetics appointment?

Before you go to your first appointment, try to gather information about your family history, medical history, pregnancy history, and genetic concerns. A genetic counsellor may contact you to get some of this information before your appointment. You may be sent a family history form to complete and return to us before your appointment. You may also be asked to bring photos of family members. All of this information helps us to be as prepared as possible for your appointment and allows more time for us to answer any questions you may have during your actual appointment.

For those people who are referred regarding a family history of cancer, you may be mailed release forms to have signed and returned. This allows us to get information about the cancer diagnoses in your family so we can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information during your appointment.

What should I expect at my appointment?

You will begin by meeting with a genetic counsellor or medical geneticist who will review your (or your child's) medical and family history. If it is needed, the medical geneticist will do a physical exam. Additional tests may also be recommended. If a condition is diagnosed they will review information about the condition, what it may mean for your family, and discuss plans for management and follow-up care.

How long will my appointment be?

Les rendez-vous durent habituellement entre 1 heure et 1 heure et demie. On vous demande de vous présenter 10 minutes à l'avance pour prévoir du temps pour l'inscription. Nous vous suggérons également de prévoir du temps supplémentaire pour trouver un espace de stationnement puisqu’il peut être difficile de trouver un endroit pour se stationner dans les environs de l'hôpital. Pour plus d'informations sur les stationnements ou pour savoir comment se rendre au CSSK, cliquez ici. 

Who will I be meeting with?

You will meet with either a genetic counsellor or medical geneticist, or sometimes both. Genetic counselors are health care professionals with specialized training in counselling and genetics. Medical Geneticists are specialist doctors who have expert training and certification in genetics and inherited diseases.

What is genetic counselling?

Genetic counselling can help you learn how certain diseases, disabilities, or birth defects can affect you and the rest of your family. Your counsellor will provide you with information and support to help you make personal decisions about your health and the health of your children or pregnancies.

My baby is breech, what happens?

External cephalic version (ECV) is a technique whereby a doctor turns a breech baby in utero to a head down position. The procedure involves the baby being turned manually by using  pressure on your abdomen. The ECV is done by an Obstetrician with assistance from a Obstetrical Resident. Your healthcare provider can book your ECV with one of the obstetricians who does this procedure. You will be instructed to call Connell 5 on the morning of the procedure to set up a time throughout the day when it can be done. The doctor will discuss the procedure and the risks with you. The nurse will check your vital signs and may start an intravenous line. You will feel a great deal of pressure during the procedure, however, it should not be painful. It can be completed in about five minutes. If you require further information about ECV, please ask your healthcare provider.

What happens when I have an underlying health issue?

There are high-risk obstetricians available at KGH who specialize in managing your care during pregnancy. They will discuss any questions or concerns you may have and monitor your baby's well-being during your pregnancy. The use of narcotics during pregnancy is a balance of risks and benefits. If possible, discuss your medications with your healthcare provider before you get pregnant. You will be cared for through our obstetrical care clinic located on Kidd 5. For more information, click here, then scroll down to high-risk obstetrical care. 

What if my baby is sick or needs extra care?

Every new mom hopes for a healthy baby but sometimes things don't go as planned. Babies can be born prematurely, with a serious health condition or can become ill after delivery. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is equipped to deal with babies who need highly specialized care. When you are there, you and the NICU team will all work towards the same goal, to get your baby home. The NICU is located on the same floor as the postpartum unit which makes it easily accessible for you to visit your baby frequently. If you would like to learn more about the NICU, click here

Do I need a birthing plan?

A birthing plan is an excellent way to clarify your expectations when preparing for childbirth. It is important to relate your issues and concerns, hopes or anxieties about the experience of birth to your doctor or midwife. You may wish to discuss other issues such as pain control, support persons in labour, infant care and handling, intravenous, labour positions and episiotomy. You may discuss any of these issues at your prenatal visits.Your care team will discuss your wishes for your plan of care and provide you with all the information to maintain a supportive labour and birth. Our caregivers respect your personal needs and choices.

What is an Induction?

Induction is a form of using artificial means to get your labour started. This may be done by using drugs or by rupturing the membranes. You may require this if you or your baby has a medical condition that would benefit delivering the baby earlier than expected. This may also be done if you past your due-date. Your physician or midwife will discuss with you your eligibility for outpatient induction. For more information click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. 

How often should I bathe my baby?

Newborns do not generally get 'dirty' as long as they are cleaned with each diaper change. Two to three baths a week is appropriate, and provides stimulation for your baby. These baths will also go a long way towards making you feel more comfortable in handling your baby. As they get older and start to eat solid foods you will find that they probably need a bath every day.

For more information on bathing your newborn, visit our newborn care section. 

Where can I get help if I feel I am experiencing postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a serious psychiatric condition that requires immediate attention. You may have feelings of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, panic attacks, little interest in your baby or suicidal thoughts. First, notify your caregiver right away. They will provide you with care and counselling. For urgent care, please go visit KGH's Emergency Department. For more information please refer to the Canadian Association of Mental Health

I'm having trouble getting pregnant, when should I seek help?

Infertility is a common problem that affects approximately 8 per cent of women. Infertility is described as the inability to get pregnant after one year of trying for the first pregnancy, or six months thereafter. Although there are five factors that can contribute to infertility, 30 per cent of the time no specific cause for infertility can be found. KGH operates a infertility clinic that is available to you upon referral from your family physician or gynecologist. If you would like more information on techniques you can try on your own to help get your body ready for pregnancy, you can also visit the Queen's University Department of Obstetrics website.

When I leave KGH, how do I know which medications to continue with and which to stop?

Upon discharge, your doctor or nurse will give you instructions on which medications you should continue at home, which medications you should stop at home and which ones you should start taking.

Why do the pills I get in hospital look different than the ones I have at home?

While in hospital there may be various reasons why your pills look different. The medication may be made by a different company so they look slightly different; the medication may have been substituted with another drug from the same class of medication; or your medication may have been stopped and another drug started for another reason. Do not hesitate to ask your nurse or doctor to give you the name of the medication you are receiving and the reason why.

Where do I go to fill my prescriptions after I have been discharged from KGH?

You can return to your usual home pharmacy. We encourage you to request a “Meds Check” from your pharmacist in order for you to have an updated medication list from your drug store.

Do I go to the KGH pharmacy to get my medications?

No, medications are supplied to you through nurses. 

Does the MRI table have a weight and size limit?

Yes, the table weight limit is 400 lb. or 180 kg., with a maximum width restriction of 60 cm. For optimal images it is necessary for the area being examined to be within the magnets isocentre which is located directly in the centre of the scanner. For patient specific questions please contact our MRI bookings department.

Why is my whole body in the scanner if you are only scanning my head?

The area of the scanner that creates the images is located in the centre of the magnet and is called the isocentre. Therefore, in order to scan your head most of your upper body will be in the scanner. The same is true when imaging the spine and upper extremities.

Can you scan my entire body while I am in the MRI machine?

No. The MR scanner can scan almost any part of the body but each scan is limited to a specific area. It can take from 30-60 minutes to scan each area.

What is the difference between MRI and CT?

Both MRI and CT create cross-sectional images of the body. The main difference is that MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to produce images where as a CT scanner uses ionizing radiation.

Will an MRI hurt?

No. Although there may be noise emitted from the MRI scanner during your test, there is no pain involved during the procedure.

What causes the noise in the MRI scanner?

The noise that the scanner creates is the electrical current rising within the wires of the gradient magnet. The current in the wires are opposing the main magnetic field; the stronger the field the louder the gradient noise.

How can I get a copy of my imaging results?

A radiologist, a doctor specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring doctor, who will discuss the results with you.

Follow-up examinations may be necessary, and your doctor will explain the exact reason why another exam is requested. Sometimes a follow-up exam is done because a suspicious or questionable finding needs clarification with additional views or a special imaging technique. A follow-up examination may also be necessary so that any change in a known abnormality can be monitored over time. Follow-up examinations are sometimes the best way to see if treatment is working or if an abnormality is stable over time.

How is the VAP case count and rate calculated?

The actual number of VAP cases (case count) will be shown if the number is zero or totals five or more cases associated with that hospital site. If the number is greater than zero but less than five cases, it will be shown as <5 (less than five) in the case count column. The VAP rate is the number of new cases of VAP in the ICU per 1,000 ventilator days. To calculate this rate the total number of VAP cases in the ICU after 48 hours of mechanical ventilation in the ICU is divided by the total number of ventilator days for patients 18 years and older.

How is VAP treated?

Since VAP is caused by bacteria in the lungs, it is treated with antibiotics. 

What can patients and families do?

Ask lots of questions

  • Ask what precautions your hospital is taking to prevent VAP
  • Wash their own hands often. Use soap and water if visibly soiled or alcohol-based hand rub on all other occasions.
What are health care providers doing to prevent VAP?
  • Practising proper hand cleaning techniques
  • Keeping the patient’s head of the bed elevated to a 30-45-degree angle
  • Discontinuing mechanical ventilation as soon as safely possible
  • and good oral care.
What are the risks factors for VAP?
  • Being on a ventilator for more than five days
  • Recent hospitalization (last 90 days)
  • Residence in a nursing home
  • Prior antibiotic use (last 90 days)
  • Dialysis treatment in a clinic
What are the signs and symptoms of VAP?

The most important symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Low body temperature
  • New purulent sputum (foul smelling infectious mucous or phlegm coughed up from the lungs or airway)
  • Hypoxia (decreased amounts of oxygen in the blood)
What is ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP)?

VAP is a serious lung infection that can occur in patients being treated in an intensive care unit (ICU) who need assisted breathing with a mechanical ventilator for at least 48 hours.

Can someone die from VRE?

Generally, people do not die if they infected with VRE. In severe cases of VRE bacteremias can lead to death. This is rare and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from VRE once their health is restored.

What is the treatment for VRE?

If a patient is simply carrying VRE, no treatment is necessary, as the organism will be cleared on its own when the person’s health is restored. If it is determined that the patient is infected (they have a blood infection, urine infection or wound infection etc.) then the patient will treated with the appropriate antibiotic as determined by a physician.

How is VRE diagnosed?

We do not routinely monitor or isolate persons who carry VRE. Patients with VRE infections are identified during their care and treated accordingly.

What are infection prevention and control precautions? How does this affect my care?

All infection prevention and control precautions or Routine Practices aim to limit the spread of any bacteria to other patients and to health care providers.  

What precautions are used to prevent the spread of VRE in the hospital?

Here at KGH we do not routinely place patients on precautions or isolate those who carry or are infected with VRE. Routine Practices are used because VRE, like other germs can be spread from one person to another by contact; hand hygiene is critical to preventing the spread of all infections in a healthcare setting. Health care providers are routinely required to clean their hands before, during and after patient contact. We also clean and disinfect all patient rooms and equipment to help stop the spread of VRE and other germs. 

How is VRE spread?

VRE is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of health care providers (HCP). VRE can be present on the health care provider’s hands either from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with VRE, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. VRE can live on hands and objects in the environment.

Who is at risk of contracting VRE?

Risk factors for VRE acquisition include severe underlying illness, presence of invasive devices, prior colonization with VRE, antibiotic use and longer hospital stay.

What are Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE)?

Enterococci are bacteria that are normally present in the human intestines and are often found in the environment. These bacteria can sometimes cause infections. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is often used to treat infections caused by enterococci. In some instances, enterococci have become resistant to this drug and thus are called Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE).

How are SSIs treated?

Most infections are treated with antibiotics – the type of medication will depend on the germ causing the infection. An infected skin wound may be reopened and cleaned. If an infection occurs where an implant is placed, the implant may be removed. If the infection is deep within the body, another operation may be needed to treat it.

What can patients do to help prevent SSIs?

Ask lots of questions. Learn what steps the hospital is taking to reduce the danger of infection.

  • If your doctor instructs, shower or bathe with antiseptic soap the night before and day of your surgery. You may be asked to use a special antibiotic cleanser that you don’t rinse off.
  • If you smoke, stop or at least cut down. Ask your doctor about ways to quit.
  • Only take antibiotics when told by a health care provider. Using antibiotics when they’re not needed can create germs that are harder to kill. If prescribed, finish all your antibiotics, even if you feel better.
  • After your surgery, eat healthy foods.
  • When you return home, care for your incision as instructed by your health care provider.
What precautions are hospitals/health care providers taking to prevent SSIs?

Health care providers should be taking the following precautions to prevent SSIs:

  • Practicing proper hand-hygiene techniques. Before the operation, the surgeon and all operating room staff scrub their hands and arms with an antiseptic soap.
  • Cleaning the site where your incision is made with an antiseptic solution.
  • Wearing medical uniforms (scrub suits), long-sleeved surgical gowns, masks, caps, shoe covers and sterile gloves.
  • Covering the patient with a sterile drape with a hole where the incision is made.
  • Closely watching the patient’s blood sugar levels after surgery to make sure it stays within a normal range. High blood sugar can delay the wound from healing.
  • Warming IV fluids, increasing the temperature in the operating room and providing warm-air blankets (if necessary) to ensure a normal body temperature. A lower-than-normal body temperature during or after surgery prevents oxygen from reaching the wound, making it harder for your body to fight infection.
  • Clipping, not shaving any hair that has to be removed. This prevents tiny nicks and cuts through which germs can enter.
  • Covering your closed wound (closed with stitches) with sterile dressing for one or two days. If your wound is open, packing it with sterile gauze and cover it with sterile dressing.
What are the risk factors for SSIs?

The risk of acquiring a surgical site infection is higher if you:

  • Are an older adult
  • Have a weakened immune system or other serious health problem such as diabetes
  • Smoke
  • Are malnourished
  • Are very overweight
  • Have a wound that is left open instead of closed with sutures
What are the symptoms of SSIs?
  • Increased soreness, pain, or tenderness at the surgical site.
  • A red streak, increased redness, or swelling near the incision.
  • Greenish-yellow or foul-smelling discharge from the incision.
  • Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.5 degrees Celsius) or higher

Symptoms can appear at any time from hours to days after surgery. Implants such as an artificial knee or hip can become infected up to 3 months or more after the operation.

What are surgical site infections (SSIs)?

Surgical site infections occur when harmful germs enter your body through the surgical site (any cut the surgeon makes in the skin to perform the operation). Infections can happen because germs are everywhere – on your skin, and on things you touch. Most infections are caused by germs found on and in your body.

Does a low rate of compliance mean that surgeries at KGH are not safe?

Patient safety is a number one priority for all KGH. There are numerous checks and balances in place to ensure the safety of our hospital but hospital care is complicated and depends on many factors. The public reporting of hospitals’ checklist compliance rates is not intended to serve as a measure for hospitals to compare themselves against other organizations, or for the public to use as a measure of where to seek care. Like other patient safety indicators, it is important to look at checklist compliance rates in a broader context. The rates must be examined in order to get a sense of how hospitals are performing – where they excel and where improvements could be made. It is important to look at all of these indicators in combination.

What is considered a high rate or low rate of compliance? Shouldn’t compliance always be 100%?

The public reporting of our surgical checklist percentage compliance allows us to establish a baseline from which we can track over time. We will closely monitor our rates and should they decrease, we will look closely at our operating room processes and target areas for improvement. The checklist percentage compliance measures the degree to which all three phases (i.e., a briefing, a time out, and a debriefing) of the checklist were performed correctly and appropriately for each surgical patient. We are always striving for 100 per cent compliance. 

How frequently is checklist compliance being publicly reported?

Hospitals will post their bi-annual percentage compliance at the end of July and January.

How long has KGH used a surgical safety checklist? Is this new?

KGH implemented the checklist in one surgical specialty in November 2009. The checklist was implemented in all surgeries in April 2010.

Why are hospitals publicly reporting the checklist indicator?

As part of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s public reporting of patient safety indicators initiative, eligible hospitals are legally required to post their checklist compliance percentages. KGH strongly supports the provincial government’s strategy to publicly report patient safety Indicators because we believe it will enhance patient safety and strengthen the public’s confidence in our hospitals.

Do hospitals use one standard checklist?

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute has a checklist template that has mandatory requirements for Ontario hospitals to use. KGH then adds additional items to this template that allows us to customize items to fit the type of surgeries performed here and have been declared to be important to the KGH patient population. 

Will I be asked questions to help complete a portion of a surgical safety checklist?

If you undergo a surgery at Kingston General Hospital, you can expect that the surgical safety checklist will be used as part of the procedure. As a patient, you will be asked questions by a surgical team member so that they can complete a portion of the checklist with you.  It will then be used by your surgical team members before, during and after your surgery to help the surgical team members familiarize themselves with your medical history and any special requirements that may be needed for your individual case. 

Why are checklists so important?

Operating room teams have many important steps to follow in order to ensure a safe and effective surgery for every patient. The checklist is a useful tool that helps promote good communication and teamwork among the health care team to help ensure the best outcomes for patients.

What information is included in a surgical safety checklist?

The checklist is used at three distinct stages or phases during surgery:

  • pre-induction (before the patient is put to sleep)
  • time out (just before the first incision)
  • and debriefing (during or after surgical closure)

Some examples of items contained in the checklist include:

The briefing phase:

  • Verify with patient name and procedure to be done
  • Allergy check
  • Medications check
  • Operation site, side and procedure
  • Lab tests, X-rays

The “time out” phase:

  • Patient position
  • Operation site and side and procedure
  • Antibiotics check

The debriefing phase:

  • Surgeon reviews important items
  • Anesthesiologist reviews important items
  • Nurse reviews correct counts 
What is a surgical safety checklist?

A surgical safety checklist is a patient safety communication tool that is used by a team of operating room professionals (nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and others) to discuss important details about each surgical case. In many ways, the surgical checklist is similar to an airline pilot’s checklist used just before take-off. It is a final check prior to surgery used to make sure everyone knows the important medical information they need to know about the patient, all equipment is available and in working order, and everyone is ready to proceed. 

Can someone die from MRSA?

Most people do not die if they are infected with MRSA. However in severe cases of MRSA bacteremia, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from MRSA, once their health is restored.

What is the treatment for MRSA?

If a patient is carrying MRSA, generally no treatment is necessary, as the organism is not causing an illness and often will be cleared on its own when the person’s health is restored. If it is determined that the patient is infected (they have a blood infection, skin infection or wound infection etc.) then the patient will treated with the appropriate antibiotic as determined by a physician.

How is MRSA found?

Swabs are performed when patients are admitted to the hospital and periodically for patients whom are at risk. The swabs are sent to the laboratory for analysis and if positive, the laboratory notifies infection prevention and control so that the patient can be placed on Contact Precautions.

What Contact Precautions are used to limit the spread of MRSA?

Contact Precautions aim to limit the spread of MRSA to other patients and to health care providers. You may be placed in a private room or with other patients who are also carrying the bacteria. A sign may be placed on your door to remind others who enter your room about these special contact precautions. Those caring for you as well as visitors will be asked to clean their hands, gown and glove before entering your room. Everyone who enters and leaves your room must clean their hands well. The room and equipment in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

What precautions are used to prevent the spread of MRSA in the hospital?

Because MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, hand hygiene is critical to preventing its spread in a health-care setting. KGH actively conducts regular surveillance to find cases of MRSA infection and to identify carriers of MRSA. If a patient is positive for MRSA they are placed on Contact Precautions.

How is MRSA spread?

MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on the health care provider’s hands either from touching contaminated material from infected persons or from touching articles contaminated by a person carrying MRSA, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment for extended periods of time.

Who is at risk of contracting MRSA?

Risk factors for MRSA infections include invasive procedures, prior treatment with antibiotics, prolonged hospital stay, stay in an intensive care or burn unit, surgical wound infection and close proximity to someone who is carrying MRSA. 

What is a bacteremia?

A bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection.

What is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?

Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally, Staphylococcus aureus is a  cause of human infection. When Staphylococcus aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.

Does an above average HSMR mean the care is not good at KGH?

No. The HSMR results should not be used as a guide of choosing where to seek care. A higher than average HSMR result does not necessarily mean that a hospital is “unsafe” – nor does a lower than average HSMR mean a hospital is “safe.” Patients should know that KGH is safe and that the care they receive is top-notch. Every effort – on behalf of everyone serving patients in a hospital – is made to ensure patients receive the highest-quality care possible. Hospital care is complicated and depends on many factors, not all of which are reflected or accounted for by HSMR. That is why many indicators must be examined in order to get a sense of how hospitals are performing – where they excel and where improvements could be made. It is important to look at all of these indicators in combination. To judge performance on only one indicator would be misleading.

Why is the HSMR an important measure?

The HSMR is an overall quality indicator and measurement tool that allows for comparison of an acute care hospital’s mortality rate with the overall mortality rate among peer hospitals and regions in Canada. HSMR has been used by many hospitals in several countries to assess and analyze in hospital mortality rates and to help improve quality of care and enhance patient safety. Ontario hospitals are beginning to use the HSMR for internal benchmarking purposes: to show hospitals how their HSMR has changed, where they have made progress and where they can continue to improve.


Why was a new methodology for calculating HSMR initialized?

Morbidity and mortality patterns are changing. Hospitals, like ours, have implemented a range of initiatives to reduce mortality and improve patient care. As a result, HSMR results across the country have been progressively improving. So, this year, CIHI updated the methodology used to calculate HSMR results. For example, Quebec is now included, more diagnoses are added and a new approach to logistic regression modeling is used.

What are some of the key contributing factors to KGH’s HSMR rate?

The rate reported by CIHI for KGH has included patients whose secondary diagnosis included palliative care. These are patients whose hospitalization was for the purpose of palliative care for the majority of their hospital stay. Because palliative care was not the primary diagnosis, CIHI has included these patients in their calculation for KGH’s HSMR. At KGH, palliative patients accounted for 64 per cent of deaths last year. Without these palliative care deaths, the HSMR would be lower. 

What is the Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR)?

The Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR) is an overall quality indicator and measurement tool used by all acute care hospitals and regions in Canada. HSMR has been used by many hospitals in several countries to help improve quality of care and enhance patient safety.


What can patients do to help improve their own safety?

Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients. Hand cleaning is one of the best ways you and your health care team can prevent the spread of many infections. Patients and their visitors should also practice good hand hygiene before and after entering patient rooms.

More information is available at:

What steps does your hospital take if your hand hygiene compliance rates are too low?

KGH works hard-to create a culture of patient safety involves everyone – health care administration, health -care professionals, and, of course, patients and families. If low hand hygiene compliance rates are identified, we will review infection prevention and control practices to ensure that they align with best practices documents, as well as the Just Clean Your Hands program and introduce educational interventions and make appropriate revisions to our program.

Why are hand hygiene compliance rates reported annually and not quarterly?

For the purpose of public reporting, data will be reported on an annual basis. The decision was made to report annually so that hospitals were able to submit enough data and that the compliance rate was statistically valid.

Do low rates mean that patients have a higher risk of catching a hospital associated infection?

Patients should know that their hospital is safe, that the care they receive is topnotch, and that every effort is made to ensure the highest quality of care possible. Public reporting of hand hygiene compliance rates is another helpful measure to ensure the care provided to Ontario patients is even safer, and continues to improve over time. 

A low reported compliance rate does not necessarily mean that health care providers are not performing hand hygiene. The audit tool measures whether health care providers are performing hand hygiene at the right times and the right way. That is why it is vital that hand hygiene compliance rates are viewed in the context of other performance indicators. That said, the analysis of these rates, over time will certainly provide helpful information that can be used to make system improvements in each hospital.


Does less than 100-per-cent compliance mean the hospital is not safe?

No. Patient safety is a number one priority for all Ontario hospitals. There are numerous checks and balances in place to ensure the safety of public hospitals but hospital care is complicated and depends on many factors. The public reporting of hospitals’ hand hygiene compliance rates is not intended to serve as a measure for hospitals to compare themselves against other organizations, or for the public to use as a measure of where to seek care. Rates can vary from hospital to hospital, month to month. Some hospitals will have lower observation opportunities because they do not have as much direct provider-to-patient care opportunities. Due to the types and patient populations (i.e. mental health) of these hospitals, their rates may seem lower. Like other indicators, it is important to look at hand hygiene compliance rates in a broader context. The rates must be examined in order to get a sense of how hospitals are performing – where they excel and where improvements could be made. It is important to look at all of these indicators in combination.


If hand hygiene is so important, why is compliance not 100 per cent?

Health care providers performing hand hygiene is a practice that continues to improve as we learn more about hand hygiene best practices. Both hospitals and the health care system have invested considerable resources to improve hand hygiene in hospitals.

The Public Health Ontario provincial hand hygiene campaign, Just Clean Your Hands, was designed to help hospitals and individuals overcome barriers to proper hand hygiene and improve compliance with hand hygiene best practices. The program recognizes that health care providers are busy and require immediate access to hand hygiene products at the right time in the patient care process.

At KGH, for example, where sinks used to be located inconveniently throughout hospitals, there is now fast and easy access to more than 2,200 alcohol-based hand rubs outside all inpatient rooms and adjacent to patients’ bedsides. There are also more freestanding hand cleaning stations located at all main entrances. In addition, ongoing education sessions are held to ensure health care providers know when and where to clean their hands to ensure patient safety.


How do you track hand hygiene?

Direct observation of hand hygiene practice is done by trained observers using the provincial audit tool. The observer conducts observations openly, recording what they see, with the identity of the health care provider is kept confidential.

Why is hand hygiene so important?

The single most common transmission of healthcare-associated infections in a health care setting is via the hands of health care providers.

Health care providers acquire germs from contact with infected patients, or after handling contaminated material or equipment. Hand hygiene is an important practice for health care providers but also involves everyone in the hospital, including patients, families and visitors.

Effective hand hygiene practices in hospitals play a key role in improving patient and health care worker safety, and in preventing the spread of healthcare-associated infections.

What is hand hygiene?

Hand hygiene is the removal of visible soil and removal or killing of microorganisms from the hands. This can be accomplished using soap and water for visibly soiled hands or an alcohol-based hand rub.


Where can I get more information about this and other Patient Safety Indicators?
What can I do to protect myself from C. difficile?

It is not possible to prevent every case of C. difficile infection but each of us can protect ourselves and others by cleaning our hands often. Health-care providers in hospitals must clean their hands according the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s and hygiene guidelines. If you are receiving care in a hospital it is OK to ask anyone providing care to you if they have cleaned their hands. Cleaning your own hands after using the toilet, before you eat, after blowing your nose and any time they are dirty is a basic and important step to prevent the spread of all infections including C. difficile. Taking antibiotics only as needed and as prescribed by your doctor or nurse-practitioner (advanced practice nurse) and watching out for diarrhea are also important.

Can a person die from C. difficile infection?

Yes, in severe cases of CDI, death can occur. This is uncommon and tends to occur in those people with other severe health problems. The vast majority of people recover from CDI.

How is C. difficile diarrhea detected or diagnosed?

If CDI is suspected, a stool (bowel movement) sample is tested in a laboratory for the toxin it makes. The test takes several hours to perform and most hospitals do this test in their own laboratory. Those hospitals that do not do this test themselves will send the stool sample to another laboratory to do the test. Sometimes a doctor will look directly into the bowel with a special scope (called a sigmoidoscope or colonoscope) to detect abnormal changes in the lining of the bowel that mean that C. difficle is causing the diarrhea. 

What is the treatment for C. difficile infection (CDI)?

If a person has diarrhea due to CDI, a doctor will prescribe a type of antibiotic that kills the C. difficle germs. The two most commonly used antibiotics to treat CDI are metronidazole and vancomycin.


What precautions are used to prevent the spread of C. difficile in the hospital?

C. difficile can be spread from one person to another by contact, hand hygiene is critical to preventing its spread in a health-care setting.

If a patient is positive for C. difficile they are placed on Contact Precautions.

So what are Contact Precautions?

Contact Precautions aim to limit the spread of C. difficile to other patients and to health care providers. You may be placed in a private room or with other patients who are also carrying the bacteria. A sign may be placed on your door to remind others who enter your room about these special Contact Precautions. Those caring for you as well as visitors will be asked to clean their hands, gown and glove before entering your room. Everyone who enters and leaves your room must clean their hands well. The room and equipment in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

What are the symptoms?

If you get the C. difficile germ you most often do not develop any symptoms of diarrhea at all. People, particularly those taking antibiotics, may get diarrhea. The diarrhea can range from mild to severe with many bowel movements in a day and accompanied by abdominal pain and cramps.

How does someone get C. difficile?

The C. difficile germ enters your body by ingestion of C. difficile spores. This is why cleaning your hands is so important to prevent picking up C. difficile and other germs. You can pick up the C. difficile germ anywhere, but the C. difficile germ is especially common in hospitals because hospitals have many people being given antibiotics. The chances of the C. difficile germ spreading from person to person is much higher in a hospital than it is in your own home, for example.

C. difficile is one of the most common infections found in hospitals and long-term care facilities, and has been a known cause of health-care associated diarrhea for about 30 years.

Who is at risk of contracting C. difficile?

Healthy people are not usually susceptible to C. difficile. Seniors and people who have other illnesses or conditions being treated with antibiotics and those who take acid-suppressing stomach medications are at greater risk of an infection from C. difficile.

What Does the FAW Block Look Like?

Here is an example of what this block looks like when placed on a page. 

What can patients do to help reduce their chances of infection in general?

Patients should always follow instructions given to them by your health care team.  Frequent hand cleaning is another way to prevent the spread of infection. Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients.

How is a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLI) treated?

Treatment depends on the type of catheter, the severity of the infection and the patient’s overall health. Generally, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection and the central line may need to be removed. In some cases, the line is flushed with high doses of antibiotics to kill the germs causing the infection so that the line does not have to be removed. 

What can patients do to prevent a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLI)?
  • Ask lots of questions.
  • Find out why you need the line and where it will be placed.
  • Learn what steps the hospital is taking to reduce the danger of infection.
  • Wash your own hands often. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub containing at least 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Try not to touch your line or dressing. 
What are health care providers doing to prevent a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLI)?
  • All health care providers should practice proper hand cleaning techniques.
  • Everyone who touches the central line must wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wear sterile clothing – a mask, gloves and hair covering – when putting in the line.
  • The patient should be covered with a sterile drape with a small hole where the line goes in.
  • The patient’s skin should be cleaned with “chlorhexidine” (a type of soap) when the line is put in.
  • Choose the most appropriate vein to insert the line.
  • Check the line every day for infection.
  • Replace the line as needed and not on a schedule.
  • Remove the line as soon as it is no longer needed.  

Health care providers who insert a central line in the vein of a patient fill out a central line insertion check list and procedure note which dates, tracks and documents the procedure.

What are some of the risk factors for a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLI)?

Anyone who has a central line can get an infection. The risk is higher if you:

  • Admitted to the ICU
  • Have a serious underlying illness or debilitation
  • Receiving bone marrow or chemotherapy
  • Have the line in for an extended time 
What are some of the symptoms of a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLI)?
  • Redness, pain or swelling at or near the catheter site
  • Pain or tenderness along the path of the catheter
  • Drainage from the skin around the catheter
  • Sudden fever or chills 
What is a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLI)?

Central line infections occur when a central venous catheter (or “line”) is placed in the patient’s vein and the line gets infected. Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) often require a central line since they are seriously ill and require a lot of medication for a long period of time. When a patient requires long-term access to medication or fluids through an intravenous (IV), a central line is put in place. A central line infection can occur when bacteria and/or fungi enters the blood stream. The bacteria can come from a variety of places (skin wounds, environment etc.), though it most often comes from the patient’s own skin.

What else do I need to do before my surgery?

Make sure to follow all instructions carefully about medications, food and drink, that you received from the Pre-Surgical Screening clinic.  Please call your surgeon's office if you have any questions.

In order to decrease your risk of infection, please shower or bathe before arriving for your surgery.

If your are being discharged the day of your surgery ( going home once recovered from surgery) arrange a ride home and plan to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.

If I have more questions about my surgery, when and who can I ask?

Your Surgeon and Anesthesiologist will speak with you and answer your questions on the day of your surgery, prior to you going to the operating room. If you have questions earlier than that, please contact your Surgeon’s office.

Can I cancel my surgery?

If for any reason you need to reschedule or cancel your surgery (you’re feeling sick, or you no  longer want to have the surgery), please call your surgeon’s office as soon as possible.

If you need to cancel or reschedule less than one week before your scheduled surgery date and you are unable to reach the surgeon's office, please call the KGH Operating Room at 613-548-7820.  

What should I bring with me to the hospital?

You should bring your Health Card, insurance information, credit card, medications in original containers as well as a housecoat and slippers. We also encourage patients to bring their CPAP or BiPAP machines from home in order to assist your breathing as you recover from surgery.

If you are staying in the hospital after your surgery and would like to have some personal belongings with you during your stay, please have a family member bring them once your surgery is complete and you have arrived in your hospital room. If your are being discharged the day of your surgery ( going home once recovered), do not bring any extra belongings with you.

Please do not bring valuables (e.g. large amounts of money, jewellery) of any kind to the hospital.  


When should I arrive for my surgery?

A member of our team will call you the night before your surgery (any time after 2:00 p.m.) to confirm the time that you are required to arrive at KGH’s Same Day Admission Centre which is located on Connell 2. 

My surgery date has been booked, what’s next?

You will soon be contacted by the Pre-Surgical Screening office which is located at Hotel Dieu Hospital to book an appointment to help prepare you for your surgery.

If you have not been contacted by the office one week before your scheduled surgery date, please call: 613-544-3400 ext. 2203

Where do I park when I come to KGH?

There are several parking options to choose from when you come to KGH. Please click here (NEED LINK TO 1.1.1) to see all the options.