Flu Outbreak: Hospitals Turning Away Non-Critical Patients

Flu Outbreak: Hospitals Turning Away Non-Critical Patients

The flu outbreak is spreading throughout the nation, causing some hospitals to turn away patients with non-life-threatening conditions due to lack of space. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this influenza epidemic rapidly spreading across the United States is reportedly the worst outbreak in in a decade. What’s more, the H1N1, or swine flu, virus is reportedly one of the most common circulating types of the ailment at the moment.

At least 18 children in the United States have died during this flu outbreak, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also reports that the proportion of people seeing their doctor for flu-like symptoms jumped to 5.6 percent from 2.8 percent. Forty one states are battling the flu outbreak and in just one state, Illinois, six people have died so far.

According to ABC, Dr. David Zich of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has reported a 20 percent increase in flu patients every day and this has forced the hospital to “bypass,” meaning it asked ambulances to take patients elsewhere during this flu outbreak:

“Northwestern Memorial Hospital is an extraordinarily busy hospital, and oftentimes during our busier months, in the summer, we will sometimes have to go on bypass. We don’t like it, the community doesn’t like it, but sometimes it is necessary.”

Hospitals have responded by setting up tent cities to handle the extra load, but often times this not enough.

According to the NY Daily News, Tom Skinner of the CDC says the flu outbreak “is stacking up to be moderate to severe. In the past 10 years we have seen just two or three like it.” New York state is feeling the full brunt of the flu outbreak, where “cases are skyrocketing. During last year’s entire flu season, only 4,400 cases were reported. So far this season, there have been more than 15,000 — an increase of close to 250 percent. And hospitalizations are up 169 percent from the same period last year.”

What are you doing to protect your family during this year’s flu outbreak?