BFHD, Hospitals Warn of Long ER Wait Times Due to “Tripledemic”
(Kennewick, WA) -- The Benton Franklin Health District, along with representatives from Kadlec, Lourdes and Trios held a press conference today warning of long wait times in the Emergency Room as the so-called "Tripledemic" continues to unfold. The Tripledemic, as it's called, consists of the combination of RSV, Covid-19 and the flu hitting all at once, driving up the volume by which health care providers are seeing patients. Doctors from all three hospitals met today with reporters to say that if you come to the Emergency Room, no matter the hospital, you will run into longer than expected wait times. All three urged patience.
Dr. John Matheson, who is Kadlec's Emergency Department Medical Director said "we have a bed shortage. And this is not unique to Kadlec or Lourdes or Trios, or to Washington. This is something we see nationwide."
Merry Fuller, who is the Chief Nursing Officer at Prosser Memorial Health added "We are focused on responding effectively and efficiently to the historic volume of patients seeking care in our ER. This has required innovation in how we have utilized both staff and space. In addition, staying on top of critical supplies, including medications and testing kits, has required constant vigilance. We are encouraging people to follow the sound advice presented by our healthcare colleagues today."
All doctors appearing at the news conference acknowledged there was vaccine fatigue, but implored everyone to get both an updated Covid and flu shot. They admit the vaccines may not prevent you from getting the illness itself, but they will most likely prevent their severity.