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Doctors and nurses in the Northeast Georgia Health System emergency rooms are facing a caseload of patients so stark that the workers are treating patients on ambulances until space is found inside the hospital.
“We’re used to having one of three busiest emergency departments in the state here in Gainesville, but our current situation is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Mohak Dave, the NGHS chief of emergency medicine. “We’re treating patients in hallways and waiting rooms every day. Sometimes patients have to spend the night there, because there’s no bed available.”
In the past two weeks, Dave said they have had moments where they can’t bring the patient in from the ambulance because of the lack of space in the emergency department. The doctor said the Braselton emergency department has been similarly strained.
“That also holds up the EMS services, because their ambulances have to stay parked and are not able to respond to the next call,” Dave said. “While some hospitals might simply stop accepting patients via ambulance and redirect them to other places, we see it as our responsibility to care for as many patients as possible. We’re this community’s hospital, and a safety net for the entire region.”