POSTED: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 7:10am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:25pm
As patients worried about the flu bombard emergency rooms, local hospitals are figuring out ways to take care of them. The staff at Las Palmas says in the past week, they have seen about a 40-percent increase in patients in the E.R. With the number of H1N1 and seasonal flu cases expected to go up, the staff has wasted no time coming up with a plan to deal with those patients.
Part of Las Palmas' plan is if the emergency room becomes full with patients, they will create a triage area in what is currently their emergency room parking garage. Those patients who test positive for the flu and have no serious complications will be treated and sent home. Those with something more serious than the flu will be sent inside for further treatment.
Other hospitals including University Medical Center, Sierra and Providence tell us they are also in the process of finalizing similar contingency plans in case they see an influx of flu patients in their emergency rooms.