Emergency rooms extremely busy

Local

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – January is already a busy month for emergency rooms. This year it’s even busier with COVID-19 patients, and doctors say many of those visits aren’t necessary.

“Message is that the emergency department is not the place to just go get COVID testing,” Dr. Ryan Stanton.

Just last month, hospitals banded together saying the emergency room isn’t the place for a COVID test. Dr. Stanton says he’s still seeing it though. And it comes at a time when the department is already busy enough.

“Right now is a really busy time in our emergency departments where we have a lot of people with chronic medical conditions that have destabilized over the holidays with decreased access to their physicians and specialists. Not to mention the significant spike in COVID that we receive in our emergency departments,” Dr. Stanton said.

In addition to the hassle it creates on the emergency room and its physicians, a visit like this could also be a hassle for the patient’s wallet as well.

“We don’t want people to, especially now that we reset our deductibles, be exposed to significant deductibles and co-pays and things like that for a resource that is right now free in the community,” Dr. Stanton said.

If you do have serious COVID-related complications, Dr. Stanton says a trip to the emergency room is necessary, and he wants to make sure those resources are available for people who need them.

“The purpose of the emergency department is in its name. It’s for emergencies and we want to make sure we’re available for emergencies,” Dr. Stanton said.

You can find a full list of COVID-19 testing locations in Lexington here.

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