Friday, January 11, 2013

Iowa: Flu patients flooding Des Moines medical centers

For the first time since the H1N1 virus caused a flu pandemic in 2009-10, Des Moines-area hospitals have issued a joint appeal urging patients to stay away from local emergency rooms if they need nonemergency medical care.

The Mercy and Iowa Health systems and Broadlawns Medical Center cited heavy volumes of patients and long wait times at their emergency rooms and increased hospital admissions due to an unusually early spike in flu cases.

The hospitals are directing individuals with non-life-threatening illnesses to seek treatment at walk-in and urgent care clinics to keep emergency rooms available for serious cases. The hospitals also are restricting patient visitors.


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