Hospitals, Swamped With Flu Patients, Turn Away Ambulances
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Hospital emergency rooms in Syracuse, New York are so swamped with flu patients they've been temporarily turning away ambulances.
The Post-Standard reports that ERs go on "diversion" when they can't handle any more patients. Ambulances are then temporarily redirected to other hospitals in the city.
A planning agency says Syracuse hospital ERs were on diversion for a combined 117 hours between Jan. 1 and Jan. 21.
That compares to 13 hours during the same period last year.
ERs get backed up when there are not enough hospital beds available for admissions.
The executive director of the Hospital Executive Council, Ron Lagoe, says there also are delays getting nursing home beds for patients who need further care after they're discharged from hospitals.
Information from: The Post-Standard, http://www.syracuse.com