01/11/2012 06:47 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Saskatoon hospitals see surge in patients, every room and overflow area filled

SASKATOON - A busy time at Saskatoon's three hospitals is causing a bed shortage for patients needing acute care.

The Saskatoon Health Region says the overload of patients isn't due to any one reason.

Deb Gudmundson, the region's executive director of acute care, says the three-week surge has mostly affected St. Paul's and Royal University hospitals.

She says they have created overflow areas with four or five beds, but when those are full, some patients have been treated in the hallway until a bed is available.

The health region says admissions to Royal University Hospital were 503 in December, compared to 413 last year.

It also says the average stay at St. Paul's has gone up almost 10 per cent over last year.

Gudmundson says if things stay this busy, the health region will have to make some decisions.