With the flu widespread here in
Connecticut, hospitals and their emergency rooms across the state are being
stretched thin, with an increase in patients leading to longer wait times.
The chairman of emergency medicine
here at Middlesex Hospital told Eyewitness News that he's been in medicine for
27 years, and when it comes to the flu, he's never seen it this severe.
"We're seeing about a 25-30
percent increase in visits to the emergency department," said Dr. Michael
Saxe, who heads up emergency medicine at Middlesex Hospital. "In addition,
patients are a lot sicker than normal."
More patients filling the ER are
leading to longer wait times for patients. Saxe said they've brought in extra
nurses and doctors trying to keep up with the surge.
The hospital has a website, which
let patients keep tabs on how long they just might wait. Typically, the wait is
around 30 minutes, but since Christmas it has gone up.
"Usually we're pretty
successful in doing that," Saxe said. "These days, we're shooting for
under an hour on the busy days."
The hospital is also requiring all
visitors to wear masks.
At Saint Francis Hospital in
Hartford, signs in their ER remind patients to cover their coughs. Saint Francis
Hospital has also seen an increase number of patients coming to the ER for flu.
"What we try to do is get
everyone in as quickly as possible. We certainly don't want people to wait for
hours," said Dr. Steven Wolf of Saint Francis Hospital. "We've had a
huge amount of patients requiring admission."
Requiring admission is helping clog
up the ERs in Connecticut and across the country. However, sometimes the volume
of patients overwhelms the resources at the hospital.
"We've had staff members who
have gotten sick as well. We have to back fill, and that's what hospitals are
struggling with," Wolf said. "Staff gets sick, too, and we still have
to increase capacity on top of that. So it's been a struggle for
Doctors are advising Connecticut
residents to get a flu shot, which will help them avoid waiting in long lines
at the hospital.
But, doctors said there are other
steps you can take to avoid the long lines, such as washing your hands
frequently and avoiding contact with anyone that's sick.
And if someone gets sick, they are
being told to sleep and drink a lot of fluids.
Both Wolf and Saxe said if you
haven't gotten a flu shot yet, you still can and you should. As for this rush
of flu cases, they expect it to last probably another few months.
The governor's office said the state
has seen a sharp increase in flu activity in Connecticut and advised residents
to get vaccinated.
According to the Connecticut
Department of Public Health, there are 1,680 reported cases of influenza. The
following is the breakdown by Connecticut counties:
New Haven - 453
Fairfield - 451
Hartford - 308
Windham - 151
Middlesex - 119
New London - 85
Litchfield - 62
Tolland - 49
The Connecticut Department of Public
Health said the reported number of cases is higher than the previous two flu
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, May 20 2013 9:57 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:57:34 GMT
A 18-month old baby was found not breathing at a home in Enfield Monday afternoon.Officers were called to a home on Cottage Green in the Thompsonville section of the city. Investigators found the babyMore >
An 18-month-old baby found not breathing at a home in Enfield Monday afternoon has died, according to police.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:01 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:01:07 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >
At least 51 have died in a storm the National Weather Service described as large and violent.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 5:12 PM EDT2013-05-20 21:12:47 GMT
Jermaine Richards was arrested in connection with the death of Alyssiah Wiley.
A Bridgeport man faces murder and kidnapping charges in the death of an Eastern Connecticut State University who disappeared in April. Thirty-year-old Jermaine Richards was scheduled to make his firstMore >
The search for a missing college student has turned into a search for justice after 30-year-old Jermaine Richards was arrested in connection with the death of Alyssiah Wiley.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:40:11 GMT
A lawmaker from Connecticut has pledged to live on less than $5 per day to better understand the food stamp budget. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy will live on $143.89 per month, which is $4.80 a day or $1.60More >
A U.S. Senator from Connecticut has pledged to live on less than $5 per day to better understand the food stamp budget.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 8:36 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:36:04 GMT
A car crashed into the back of a home on Cromwell Avenue in Rocky Hill Monday night.One person was taken away from the scene on a stretcher. Witnesses told Eyewitness News that the driver lost control,More >
A car crashed into the back of a home on Cromwell Avenue in Rocky Hill Monday night.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 7:12 PM EDT2013-05-20 23:12:34 GMT
Wallingford police are looking into three college-aged girls who are going door to door looking to make more than just a sale, they're looking for a place to stay.Neighbors from East Side Drive, MeadowMore >
Wallingford police are looking into three college-aged girls who are going door-to-door looking to make more than just a sale, they're looking for a place to stay.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:41:42 GMT
A Manchester man was arrested after he allegedly took psychedelic mushrooms and hit a woman at a home in Coventry early Monday morning. Officers were called to a home on Ripley Hill Road for an allegedMore >
A Manchester man was arrested after he allegedly took psychedelic mushrooms and hit a woman at a home in Coventry early Monday morning.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 7:50 PM EDT2013-05-20 23:50:56 GMT
Eyewitness News turned to the website Angie's List to learn how to treat your lawn and make it look lush and green. "When it comes to lawn care you typically aren't even home as a consumer when the jobMore >
Eyewitness News turned to the website Angie's List to learn how to treat your lawn and make it look lush and green.More >