TMH forced to open secondary waiting room for flu patients

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By: Erika Fernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 1, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare has seen a large influx of patients this week, totaling over 400 people in one of their emergency rooms in just one day. Doctors said the flu and influenza-like illnesses are to blame.

TMH said they saw so many people coming into the emergency room on Tuesday, they created a secondary waiting room. That spot is traditionally used by EMS to bring in sick patients.

Just like the rest of the nation, Tallahassee is facing an epidemic and seeing a huge spike in flu cases this season. The CDC says there's more people with the illness than there has been in about four years.

The viral infection can become so severe, it can cause dehydration, pneumonia, and even death. TMH said the overflow of patients was so high this week, some were forced to wait in another area.

"We have seasonal increases and this season isn't an exception. We anticipate those in advance and we take necessary precautions so we anticipate people are going to come to the hospital more often and have complications, and this flu season just makes it more so than usual," said Dr. Sam Ashoo, an emergency physician at TMH.

TMH said this secondary waiting room is a new approach to help manage the rising number of patients, and to treat everyone as best they can.

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