TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A night of crowded emergency rooms in Tyler is not uncommon this time of year as medical officials across the nation have been concerned with the recent outbreak of the coronavirus.
“You think of the emergency room as the front door of the hospital, and you have a flow in, and you need a flow out, and when the flow in exceeds the flow out, then you have to take a step back and say what are we going to do,” said Lane Schnell, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances, emergency room director.
On Monday night there were over 100 patients waiting to be seen at the CHRISTUS emergency room.
As a hospital, doctors say their job is to prioritize patients. To do this they have to work together to make sure everyone gets the right treatment.
“I asked them to come to the emergency room for a face to face and to witness first hand what was going on,” said Dr. Schnell. “We put our heads together and put those processes in place.”
The CDC reports the average time a person sits in a waiting room is 30 minutes and when there’s an influx of patients, that time can add up.
“When we have high volume days our ER stays at capacity and it takes the whole hospital and our EMS system working as a team. We do this on a daily basis,” said Angela Bowers, ER director at UT Health.
Bowers said the influx is common among them and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
“Even during our high volume days, we still treat patients in the lobby,” said Bowers. “We don’t just stop and make them wait.”
While worries of the coronavirus spreading to the U.S. is a concern for many, both hospitals stated the high numbers of patients aren’t due to any specific illness.