Baptist Hospital opens triage outside ER during peak flu season

Beaumont, Texas-based Baptist Hospital opened a triage outside its emergency room to help flu patients avoid long ER wait times, according to a KMBT report.

The majority of the increased number of ER patients Monday experienced flu symptoms. "We have a high accumulation of patients coming in, a mass influx," said John Delacerda, RN.

Southeast Texas has the state's sixth highest amount of estimated flu activity, according to the Walgreen's flu index, which measures flu activity through retail prescription data for influenza medications.

"[The triage] is kind of a proactive versus reactive reaction to everything," Mr. Delacerda said. "We have a lot of sick patients in the ER right now, so this kind of helps bleed out a lot of the stuff that we don't need to keep a bed tied up for in the ER."

The flu triage has approximately 15 beds and has nurses on staff for patients with flu symptoms.

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