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Swine flu claims sixth life; hospital sets up triage tents October 16, 2009

Posted by scmla in Article.
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Do not be alarmed. The following article is pure hype.

Please notice that the article says that the hospital is so swamped due to the horrific swine flu “pandemic” that they had to set up triage tents in the parking lot, but the photographs show a total of 6 people — 2 of which are babies — & no lines, no crowds, nothing.

FYI: Kern County is just north of Los Angeles County.

— Kim


Swine flu claims sixth life; hospital sets up triage tents
JAMES BURGER
Bakersfield.com
October 14, 2009


Desire Elliott is helped by R.N. Aaron Frailey in the triage area set up in tents outside Memorial Hospital Memorial Hospital to separate and quickly help people who come in with flu symptoms.


Kamia Canaday takes her baby, Natalyah Johnson, to Memorial Hospital where tents are set up to quickly help people who come in with flu symptoms. Memorial Hospital employee Patricia Sarabia checks her in.


Memorial Hospital Physicians Assistant LoAnne Mullen examines 3-year-old Jesse Medrano while his mother, Roselia Ramirez holds him. Four tents have been set up at the hospital to separate and quickly help patients who have flu symptoms.


Memorial Hospital has set up tents separate and quickly help people who come in with flu symptoms.

Kern County has lost a sixth resident to the “swine flu.”

A local hospital has pitched tents to triage the growing number of patients showing up in its emergency department with coughs and fevers.

And local clinics and hospitals are struggling with shortages of vaccines for both the “swine flu” and the regular seasonal flu.

A 25-year-old woman died Tuesday from complications of the H1N1 flu virus, which has put 66 Kern County residents in the hospital this year, said Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine.

The woman’s story is likely to be repeated here as the fall flu season continues.

Over the last week, the emergency room at Memorial Hospital has seen record volumes of patients. Hospital Director of Emergency Services Jennifer Cook said the emergency department is handling between 210 and 230 patients.

That breaks records swine flu recorded in May when the hospital’s previous highest attendance of 180 was shattered by a 207-patient day.

Overwhelmed by the numbers, the hospital on Wednesday moved its triage and treatment functions for flu patients into tents in the doctor’s parking lot.

Patients with mild to moderate flu symptoms are evaluated immediately and treated in the tents, given prescriptions to handle their symptoms and discharged with instructions to go home, stay home, sleep a lot, drink a lot of fluids and stay away from healthy people, Cook said.

The tents, Cook said, keep sick people away from other emergency room patients and relieve the cramped conditions in the emergency room halls and waiting room.

“We needed to cohort [sic] the patients who have those flu-type symptoms,” Cook said. “They’re not getting any different care than they would get in the emergency department.”

Seriously ill patients with high fevers and other conditions like pneumonia, who cannot care for themselves, are being admitted to the hospital.

By Wednesday afternoon, Cook said, 30 people had been treated and released through the tents — a total slowed a bit by light rain.

Kern Medical Center has also changed procedures to handle rising worry about the “swine flu.”

Restricted visitation rules to fight the spread of the disease have actually been well-received by patients, said CEO Paul Hensler.

“Our visitors and patients have been surprisingly understanding. I really thought there would be more concern,” Hensler said. “I think they really understand it’s for their protection.”

Public Health has also been swamped with inquiries about the illness.

“We’re getting a number of calls — just a tremendous number – so much so that we’ve had to bring in people to answer phones,” Constantine said.

And the agency distributed all of the 2,000 doses of H1N1 nasal mist vaccine it received last week in a couple well-attended public clinics.

Patients waiting for the clinic on Saturday were lined up in a great loop around the parking lot of the Public Health building.

Hensler still has not received any of the H1N1 vaccine at KMC, but he stockpiled doses of the more traditional seasonal flu vaccine and has been able to weather a recent shortage on the non-H1N1 cure.

The California Department of Public Health said it will have an update Thursday on pandemic influenza and the vaccine delivery status for both seasonal flu and H1N1 flu.

Other health care organizations are dealing with different flu-related complications.

Steve Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista, said he received 1,400 doses of the H1N1 nasal mist vaccine. What he’s running short of is the seasonal flu shot.

“What last drop we have of our stockpile is going out as we speak — it’ll be gone by the end of the week,” he said.

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