What’s Going Around: Influenza A
BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) - Any day that includes a trip to the ER is never good but lately those visits are lasting even longer.
“Here in Bolivar we are seeing some prolonged wait times but we’re trying to implement strategies to allow us to continue to move patients through our emergency department, while at the same time taking care of everybody,” said Dr. Keith Butvilas, the Emergency Medicine Director of Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar.
Dr. Butvilas said cases of Influenza A and other Upper Respiratory Viruses continue to crowd emergency rooms across the area.
“The the biggest problem has been capacity in terms of inpatient beds, across the state of Missouri,” said Dr. Butvilas. “There’s a significant number of hospitals that are at capacity and so what’s happening is when we need to provide care or subspecialty care to patients that require a transfer to a higher level hospital center, we’re having some difficulty getting them transferred.”
Dr. Butvilas said when the patients can’t be transferred, the wait times go up.
“Sometimes up to 24 hours, taking up one of our beds that otherwise we would utilize for our emergency room patients that are checking in on a regular basis,” said Dr. Butvilas.
He also said it’s forced them to get creative to get their patients the care they need.
“A good portion of our patients transfer to Springfield hospitals and as of the last several weeks we have not been able to do that because they’re at capacity for their inpatient beds,” said Dr. Butvilas. “It’s, for lack of a better term just the domino effect. We’re sending patients as far as way is St. Louis, Kansas City and, in fact, we sent one patient all the way to Iowa in order to get them the proper care that they needed.”
Dr. Butvilas said the best thing to do to slow the spread of the Flu is to get your immunization and stay home if you’re sick. He said if you don’t have any underlying medical conditions, you should be able to treat your symptoms without going to the ER. If you can’t keep liquids down, call your doctor or go to an Urgent Care first.
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