Missouri Hospitals Experience Crowded Emergency Rooms

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 11:30 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Missouri healthcare Leaders say patients are packing emergency rooms because of COVID-19. They are asking folks without serious symptoms to avoid making a trip to the hospital.

“There’s simply not enough beds and caregivers beside those beds to provide the demand we’re seeing,” said Dave Dillon.

Dillion with the MO Hospital Association said there’s limited space in emergency rooms across the state... he says COVID-19 testing is something a lot of patients’ request.

“If we’ve got the emergency department entirely full of people who are looking for a COVID test or are seeking primary care who could be found elsewhere, then it’s going to be a logjam,” Dillon said

Dillon recommends folks with severe symptoms to visit emergency rooms.

“If you are having chest pains, if there a number of signs of stroke that are pretty well known. Your inability to put words together or drooping on the side of your face,” Dillon said

According to the MHA, “the COVID-19 surge... has led to an overwhelming demand. When nonemergency care is added to emergency care, patient triage becomes difficult and wait times increase for all patients.”

Local hospitals like Southeast Health are no longer testing asymptomatic patients due to higher-than-normal demand from patients with and without Covid-19.

“Chances are you could easily get results from a COVID test that you took at your local pharmacy by the time you get to even take the test at the hospital,” Dillon said

Dillon still encourages folks with serious illnesses to use the hospital but asks them to consider others as the recourse is as tight as it is currently.

“Hopefully with a little bit of grace and these number turning in the right direction we’ll get a little bit of time to step back but right now we’re all leaning in,” Dillon said.

Dillon recommends you go to your local pharmacy, health department, or clinic for Covid-19 tests.

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