Apr 4, 2013 7:02 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - If you've ever visited an emergency room, you know it can be a long wait before you see a doctor, but after hearing stories from recent visitors to the Spohn E.R., we discovered nowadays a trip to the hospital has become much more stressful.
One of our 6 News producers recently took his 97 year old mother to the E.R. at Spohn Shoreline. She had fallen and hit her head, causing bleeding in the brain.
She wasn't given a wheelchair to sit in, not even gauze to stop the bleeding on her head and face.
We heard another story from an Aransas Pass woman named Kelli Pipes.
Pipes was suffering from vertigo a few days ago. She was having severe dizziness and constantly throwing up.
Finally she went to the E.R. at Spohn Shoreline and had to wait 12 hours to be seen by a doctor. She checked in at 1:30 in the afternoon and wasn't seen until 2 a.m.
"I was sick and laying on her (mother) lap half the night, you know, vomiting, dry-heaving," Pipes says.
She says she asked for a recliner, she didn't get it. She also asked for medicine for her nausea, she didn't get that either.
Hospital employees told her they were swamped with patients, and that their rooms were full.
Chrisus Spohn says this is an on-going problem. They say over 192,000 people came to emergency rooms in the last year.
Spohn says nearly two-thirds of those people did not need to stay in the hospital over night.
They released this statement to us.
"We need to use our resources for its intended purpose - emergency medicine - not a round the clock walk-in clinic for the flu and chronic illness that are not life or death situations."
In short, an overflow of people may have prevented Pipes from getting the treatment she needed. But safe to say that when you're throwing up in the waiting room for 12 hours without knowing why, it's probably time to see a doctor.
"It was a madhouse, I understand that. Everybody understands that. But at some point you're saying... 12 hours," Pipes says.
Spohn added that this is a nationwide problem. That emergency rooms everywhere are swamped with patients.
They say they expect to see about as many people visit emergency rooms this year as they did last year.