Emergency Rooms across Michigan at capacity

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:17 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Hospitals across Michigan are sending out a warning as emergency departments reach full capacity.

And the situation is only getting worse as flu activity picks up. Doctors said it’s the worst they’ve seen in months.

Related: Hillsdale Hospital to restrict Birthing Center visitors, due to RSV increase

As of Friday, McLaren Greater Lansing has about 110 patients in their emergency department daily, while Sparrow has close to 330 in its downtown emergency department daily. These numbers are expected to get higher.

Waiting rooms are overcrowded, beds line the halls with patients waiting for a room and nurses stand by the ambulance entrance waiting for the next patient to arrive. That’s what Sparrow Hospital has been facing and officials said it’s not getting better.

“Nearly all of the patients admitted have an RSV diagnosis if it’s a respiratory-related condition,” said Dr. Denny Martin, with Sparrow Hospital Lansing.

Statewide pediatric intensive care units are bursting at the seams, operating at 90% of total capacity. It’s mostly caused by respiratory illnesses.

Of the 34 pediatric patients at Sparrow, 24 of them have RSV.

Read: Sparrow at capacity with young RSV patients

Adults are also coming in with cases of the flu and Sparrow has seen a rise in behavioral health patients.

“It’s been difficult for us to find placement for all those patients across the state,” Martin said.

It’s not just at Sparrow.

“McLaren is seeing the same amount of patient traffic that ER’s across the country are seeing at this time,” said Dr. Christine Perry, with McLaren Greater Lansing.

As a result, patients seeking treatment at Mid-Michigan emergency rooms are having to wait for hours sometimes to see a doctor.

“If the patient requires admission, sometimes there is an additional wait for them to get a bed in the back,” Perry said.

Now hospitals are urging people to not seek treatment in emergency rooms for conditions like congestion, fever and stitches. They said those patients should go to their primary care doctor or urgent care.

If you do have an emergency, both hospitals said you’ll be taken care of no matter what.

Things like chest pain, head injuries or allergic reactions definitely need to be handled with a 911 call or trip to the ER.

The Michigan Health And Hospital Association said this year’s flu season is the worst they’ve seen in the last 13 years.

Read: Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

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