Jonesboro ERs see uptick in patients

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:29 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:45 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Emergency rooms have recently seen an influx of patients, and hospitals in Jonesboro are making sure they have enough room.

Dr. Steve Woodruff with NEA Baptist said the volume of recent visits has been the highest since the epidemic was declared over in May.

“Emergency room volume has been pretty heavy,” he said.

There has been a 10 percent increase from last year, with the ER seeing 150 to 200 patients a day.

The hospital has been able to reduce the amount of time patients stay in the ER.

“Because we’ve done that, we’ve actually created about 10 to 15 percent more beds in the med-surg department,” he said.

NEA Baptist is not alone. Mitchell Nail with St. Bernards said its ER has seen an uptick in patients too.

“As more people are gathering together, you’re seeing more illnesses and, of course, we just generally have more people packed in and around Jonesboro,” he said.

Nail said St.Bernards keeps a daily bed plan for its patients.

The ER can go into a diversion when it’s full, but Dr. Woodruff at NEA Baptist said patients will still get care.

“We’re not going to take transfers from another hospital, but people can still come here, and if somebody says I want to come here because my doctor is here, they’ll still come,” he said.

Some recommendations from both hospitals are to visit a primary care doctor or to visit the urgent care centers if the symptoms aren’t too severe, like a cough or a sore throat.