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Local hospitals experiencing crowding due to the flu

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: February 14, 2020 06:31 PM
Created: February 14, 2020 06:17 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Since the flu spiked in Monroe County, so has the number of people going to the emergency room seeking all sorts of different treatments. 

Some people say all of our area hospital emergency rooms are simply overcrowded. 

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Doctors like Bryan Gargano also say it's been very challenging during this flu crisis. 

They also admit this is very typical for them, and some days the influx of new patients has put a strain on each area hospital.

"There are days we have 120 or more patients just at the Rochester General Emergency Department, and we don't have that many rooms," Gargano said.

That means fewer beds available. 

"Monroe County hospitals tend to be very full. the vast majority of the time particularly during the flu season, it’s always a struggle," Gargano said.

Hospitals have been dealing with issues such as patient priority. Some people are asking if a flu patient be treated first over a heart attack victim for example?

"We see patients in the emergency department based on [...] the need,” Gargano said. “So the patient who needs to be seen the quickest is seen the quickest, and there's process of triage and protocol to sure that happens."

Ambulance companies like AMR have seen an uptick in the number of emergency transport calls.

Operations Supervisor and Paramedic Steve Forrett told News10NBC, hospital drop times in the emergency rooms haven't changed much since the outbreak started.

In years past overcrowded hospitals caused a domino effect often tying up ambulances.

"That's less ambulances on the road. Our call volume still comes in regardless of how long we're sitting in a hospital so we may have to adjust staffing," Forrett said.

Monroe County doctors have treated almost 3,700 flu cases, and have only reported five flu-related deaths.


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