Health

Beaumont encourages non-emergency patients to seek help elsewhere.

Beaumont Health encourages non-emergency patients to visit their doctor’s offices or emergency rooms instead of going to the emergency departments of the health care system.

The Southfield-based system said Wednesday that all of its 10 emergency departments are nearly full as it grapples with the latest surge in COVID-19 and staffing issues.

The system is also facing a critical blood shortage.

“Depending on the time of day, all beds in Beaumont hospitals are occupied,” said David Donaldson, physician and head of the Troy-Beaumont emergency center. According to him, patients are being observed in the corridors.

“Many people have been delaying testing and treatment for medical problems because of fears of a pandemic,” CEO John Fox said in a statement. “Now, more than a year and a half after the start of the pandemic, these delays in the provision of care are leading to the emergence of medical emergencies. In addition, there are many people who still need to get vaccinated. get sick with COVID Delta or other options, and try to balance all the other patients presenting with a medical emergency. Add to that the lack of staff and you have the perfect storm. “

Beaumont temporarily closed 180 of the more than 3,000 beds due to a lack of staff to care for patients in those beds.

The system said it was “aggressively working” on hiring new staff amid an oversupply of patients.

Most major health systems in Southeast Michigan are temporarily closing beds due to staff shortages.

Henry Ford Health reported this earlier this week. temporarily closed 120 beds to ensure safety with fewer workers. Henry Ford’s five hospital system is 95 percent busy.

Most of the removed beds were general medicine beds, and some were in intensive care units at Detroit and Jackson Henry Ford hospitals.

Beaumont did not specify where the beds were shuttered or in what parts.

Donaldson said that what qualifies as an emergency is left to the patient’s discretion.

“If you are experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath, it’s very obvious,” Donaldson said. “I would say that I am mistaken for reasons of caution. If it’s something that’s going on, a minor problem, there are other ways that you can be seen. “

This story first appeared in our sister publication Crain’s Detroit Business.


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