Emergency rooms filling up as sickness slams Kentucky

Emergency rooms filling up as sickness slams Kentucky
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 10:56 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 19, 2022 at 10:57 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Emergency rooms at Lexington hospitals are filling up, but medical officials say if you are really sick and need urgent care, they will see you.

Doctors from Lexington’s three major hospitals held an online media briefing Monday morning to talk about the surge in patients they are seeing.

They say it’s mostly flu, RSV and COVID-19 that’s having people go to Lexington area hospitals. They say that increase in patients has staff stretched thin and a little stressed, but doctors say they can treat you if you need urgent care in the emergency room.

Baptist Health Dr. Mark Spanier urges people to be patient if they need to come to the emergency department. If you have a severe illness, you need emergency care. He did say there are some things you can do at home if you’re questioning if you need emergency care.

“There are pulse oxygen meters you can buy at the pharmacies. Those are really good. It shows what level of oxygen you have flowing through your blood, the easy way of thinking about it. If you are getting down to 90 or below, you definitely need to be seen in the emergency department,” Spanier said.

Doctors say if you think you’re needing ER care in the morning, go then and don’t wait until later in the day. They say most ERs are almost empty in the morning, but by 7 p.m., they are packed so go early.

Doctors said in some cases they may have to roll beds out in a hallway, but said they have not to use other facilities to care for patients.