Integris Emergency Room Sees Surge Of Patients ‘Because They Are Scared’
If you are not sick, stay out of the emergency room. That is the message from officials at Integris Baptist Medical Center.
In a Wednesday afternoon press conference, officials told media they’re seeing a surge in patients coming into the ER ‘just because they are nervous or scared.”
“If you have difficulty breathing, if you have persistent pain or pressure in your chest, if you have confusion, if you have blueish lips or face, then it is time to come to the emergency room,” said David Chansolme, Medical Director at Integris.
Tests for coronavirus (COVID-19) have now become a hard thing to come by worldwide. They’re now being saved for the critical, those over the age of 65 or have other medical conditions.
“Testing is not going to make the epidemic go away,” said Chansolme. “It’s going to tell you whether or not you’ve got it. What is going to make the epidemic go away is social distancing and handwashing.”
Issues don't stop there. Protection equipment caregivers need to stay safe are becoming scarce too.
“Without personal protective gear, it really does put into question, put into significant risk having our caregivers at risk of exposure when coming into contact with patients who may be infected,” said Tommy Ibrahim, Chief Physician Executive at Integris.
What if hospital staff begin getting sick? It is a plan Integris officials are working on.
Right now, patience is all that is asked.
“We need the community to cooperate. If the community doesn't buy into this, it doesn’t work and we will be Italy,” said Timothy Pehrson, Integris CEO. “Then we will be making very difficult choices as to who gets a ventator and who doesn't. We want to avoid that.”
As soon as testing allows, Integris officials are working on opening up drive through tents.
There is no time frame right now as to when that will get started.