Reducing Wait Times for Our Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Patients


St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare are collaborating on a project that will see Providence take on extended post-operative care for certain St. Michael’s patients.

St. Michael’s is a leader in the assessment and surgical management of complex wounds. Paraplegic and quadriplegic patients are susceptible to skin pressure injury and subsequent major pressure wounds. Reconstructive surgery can help many of these patients. Following surgery that is used to treat them, these patients are susceptible to infections and other complications, and require rehabilitation in a specialized care setting – an extended period of convalescent care which is currently extremely limited. This new project between St. Michael’s and Providence sees patients being transferred one week after surgery to Providence’s B4 unit for a six-week stay where a specialized team will manage the complex care needs of this patient population.

The project makes this surgery possible for these patients, and enables Dr. James Mahoney, chief of Plastic Surgery, and Dr. Karen Cross, a surgeon-scientist, to double the number of these procedures we can do in a year, which also helps to reduce wait times for these procedures.