Martinsville hospital at “disaster” levels, leading to emergency room limitations

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 1:42 PM EDT
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Patients in the Martinsville area who don’t meet the criteria to be taken by ambulance to emergency rooms are being advised to see their primary care providers or go to urgent care.

That’s because of “current conditions affecting local hospital’s staffing and capacity,” according to Martinsville Fire-EMS, which says SOVAH Health is operating at “disaster levels,” and there is limited bed capacity available.

The city of Martinsville says the conditions are based on COVID spread in the community.

In addition, says Martinsville Fire-EMS, “Most of our hospital emergency departments are holding critical patients, which require significant emergency department space and resources that are no longer available to the emergency department.”

In an effort to match patient transport needs with available resources, the Martinsville EMS system is making changes to ensure patients with emergent medical conditions are being given transport priority, while patients experiencing non-emergency/non-life threatening/non-critical medical issues are provided with appropriate guidance, according to Martinsville Fire-EMS.

A statement from Martinsville Fire-EMS reads, “If you feel you are having an emergency, call 911. EMS providers will provide an assessment of your condition and determine if you meet the criteria for transport to the emergency room. For non-emergent medical complaints, you are encouraged to seek medical treatment with your primary care provider, telemedicine, or local urgent care facilities.”

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