This morning, leaders from Wake County’s three hospitals, as well as Wake EMS, held a virtual news conference to talk about the challenges they’re facing as COVID-19 cases surge in the community. Duke Raleigh Hospital, UNC REX Healthcare, and WakeMed Health & Hospitals told reporters that patients are flooding into their emergency departments, creating significant capacity issues. In some cases, they’re turning lobbies into hospital rooms to meet the crushing demand. On top of this, they’re facing a staffing shortage, with the doctors and nurses currently on staff feeling stretched thin.
Wake EMS is feeling the effects, too. If there are no beds available in a hospital’s emergency department, EMS crews must wait until a space opens up to transfer their patient before moving on to the next call. Sometimes, that wait lasts hours. And, with more calls coming in for emergency medical services than ever before, it’s tough to maintain their stellar response times.
In this video, you’ll hear from the physicians on the frontlines as they explain what’s causing the surge in demand for emergency medical care and what steps the public can take to reduce the strain on our local healthcare system.
For more information on Wake County’s response to COVID-19 and how to get vaccinated at no cost, visit wakegov.com/covid19.