Local Hospitals See High Emergency Room Numbers Due to Flu

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

At Allegiance Hospital in Jackson, the number of flu cases coming in has made it a much busier week than normal.

"In the last week, we've seen almost 600 patients relative to flu-like symptoms," said Jackie Liebowitz, Vice President of Patient Care Continuum at Allegiance Hospital.

And like many hospitals around the country, the emergency room has been seeing the most action.

"23 percent of the patients coming through the E.R. are having flu-like symptoms," said Liebowitz. "We actually saw our highest volume ever in the history of the organization last week in the E.R."

For Allegiance, that means some adjustments have had to be made, like bringing in more staff.

"We're having to bring in agency staff, we're having our staff work extra hours to be able to accommodate that," said Liebowitz. "We've also had to open extra in-patient beds."

Because the health of all patients is the number one priority, the hospital is also doing something it's never done before.
It's requiring all staff members to have a flu shot.

"We've offered it in the past and we were 40 to 50 percent compliant," said Liebowitz. "Now, we're 100 percent compliant."

Sparrow Hospital is also seeing their fair share of flu cases -- with seven cases bad enough to be hospitalized.
While these are high numbers for so early in the season, robin roach says the worst is yet to come.

"We're not at the peak yet," said Robin Roach, Director of Infection Prevention at Sparrow. "We're still moving up to our largest time of seeing flu cases."

Because of that sparrow is asking patients to wait before coming to the emergency room.

"The best thing for people to do is consult their own primary care provider to see if they're sick enough to be seen," said Roach.

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  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Jan 21, 2013 at 06:48 PM
    Any "true healthcare worker" absolutely WOULD say that, Jim! That's because the little boo-boos and coughs and sniffles are NOT emergencies and can generally be treated at home (or at a Redi-Care) and because those non-emergencies tie up beds and personnel that are needed when a serious, life-threatening trauma - *gasp* an EMERGENCY! - is transported to the E.R. Sometimes it takes 20-25 personnel to save a patient who is critically injured, and it's really a pain in the a** when the E.R. is crowded to the point where it's nearly impossible to move and function as quickly as necessary. Once again, it is called an Emergency Room for a reason. Congratulations, James. You've learned something today.
  • by James Location: Lansing on Jan 18, 2013 at 07:43 PM
    A true healthcare worker would not say what you said about people going to Redi Care instead. No wonder you are Anonymous. By the way, it's REDI care, not "ready care". Some healthcare worker you are.
  • by Anonymous Location: Howell on Jan 17, 2013 at 01:58 AM
    You guys are right on the use of the ER except one thing those of us without insurance yet ( waiting on exchanges ) redicare wont see us without payment up front and most dr offices wont accept patient without insurance up front so when we get ill the only option for us is the ER at this point i am laid off and simply cannot afford a $150 to 250 dr bill upfront. I have two children and utility bills take up a large portion on my unemployment. I do work part time to supplement and am avidly seeking full time work and before all you rightous people condem me i do not have luxuries like cable tv i have an emergency cell phone no extras on it and i use the internet at work and michigan works to seek full time work i have one old minivan (1999) i know alot of people abuse the ER and i feel horrible when i have to go
  • by Anonymous Location: Lansing on Jan 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM
    Kelly...you share my sentiments EXACTLY!! I'm a healthcare worker and work in a local ER. Nothing PO's the staff more than people who come to the ER (and tie up staff and resources)for coughs, sniffles, and other little boo-boos. Please!!!...go the the ready-care for this type of thing!
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Jan 9, 2013 at 05:52 PM
    In other words, people, DO NOT come to the Emergency Room unless it's an EMERGENCY! It's named that way for a reason!
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