Disaster levels: Central CA ambulances told to not transport patients if possible as ER's overflow

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Friday, December 2, 2022
Disaster levels: Central CA ambulances told to not transport patients if possible as ER's overflow
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A major surge in patients suffering from COVID, Influenza, and RSV is overwhelming Central California hospitals, forcing them to limit emergency medical services.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A major surge in patients suffering from COVID, Influenza, and RSV is overwhelming Central California hospitals, forcing them to limit emergency medical services.

The "assess and refer" policy was triggered last night across Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare Counties, in response to hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

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The county is now asking that residents avoid calling an ambulance or going to the E-R unless they are experiencing a life or limb-threatening emergency.

If someone does call an ambulance, personnel will be able to determine if the call is a true emergency, and may not transport the patient.

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We're told that Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno admitted 125 E-R patients just yesterday.

"125 patients is about four of our normal in-patient wards stuck in the emergency department," said Dr. Jeff Thomas, the hospital's Chief Medical & Quality Officer.

Fresno County EMS Director Dan Lynch said, "What we're seeing across the four counties, most of the hospitals are working at disaster levels with very high capacity issues within their facilities."

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People are being told to seek care at primary care offices, urgent care clinics, or use telehealth services.

If they do have an emergency medical condition, always call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital, but be prepared for extremely long waits.

The video above is from an earlier story and will be updated.