Local hospitals see increase in emergency room visits due to flu

Local hospitals see increase in emergency room visits due to flu

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - This year, the flu seems to have hit West Texans hard.

"We have seen the flu numbers triple in a week," said Charlotte Carr, Director of Infection Prevention & Control at Medical Center Hospital.

Meaning more patients in the emergency rooms.

"ER rooms are very busy, volumes have increased by 30%-50%," said Carr.

That's just at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. Midland Memorial says they've seen record number ER visits. They even asked that no kids under 14 come in to visit the patient care areas if they display symptoms.

"We're starting to look at systems where we can call around to the various urgent cares and clinics to see who might not be as busy," said Carr.

It's those urgent cares and clinics that help get around the issue.

"I know the flu symptoms can make you feel pretty bad. Patients are very sick, however, they can be treated just the same in the urgent cares and clinics, just the same," said Carr.

Flu deaths nationally have been in the news, Carr believes to make sure that doesn't happen, patients need to look at all their options.

"We have a rapid flu test. We can get the results in a half an hour or so. Then start on the treatment phase of it," said Carr.

The flu can strike quickly, numbers show emergency rooms are fighting extremely hard to fight back quicker.

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