Flu patients overrun Atlanta hospital ER, extra beds added

Flu patients overrun Atlanta hospital ER, extra beds added
Posted at 4:06 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 11:47:53-05

ATLANTA (WSB/CNN) – One of the busiest hospitals in the country is being overrun with flu patients.

More than 500 people a day receive treatment in the emergency room at Grady Memorial Hospital.

To help with the record numbers, the hospital added a mobile ER facility to handle the overflow.

"We brought it in because we need additional space, and the state-of-the-art resource to expand, if you will, the state of our emergency department that we already have," Grady's chief of emergency medicine, Dr. Hany Attallah, said.

The hospital’s using Carolinas MED 1 Mobile Hospital Unit. It’s a mobile emergency department that’s designed to be deployed in a natural disaster or a mass-casualty event. The unit is a self-contained facility with 14 extra beds.

"This year in particular, we've seen volumes increase 25 percent, which for us means it's a significant increase given our regular volume is fairly high to begin with,” Attallah said.

In 2016, the Grady ER saw more 104,000 patients, according to Becker's Hospital Review.

The mobile ER won't just see flu patients, but it will be a big help since this year’s flu outbreak is pushing the regular ER past its capacity.

The flu season in the United States typically runs into March or April, so the added beds are likely to be busy for weeks to come.

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