Grady Memorial Hospital sets up mobile ED due to influx of flu patients

For the first time in its history, Atlanta-based Grady Memorial Hospital set up a mobile emergency department to manage an overflow of patients as the severe flu outbreak worsens in Georgia, reports

The mobile ED, located in the hospital's parking lot, is equipped with a two-bed operating room and 14 additional beds. While the mobile facility is typically deployed to aid in disaster relief after catastrophic events such as hurricanes or tornados, Grady Memorial has leased it for up to 30 days.

"We believe strongly in being able to provide everything for the city of Atlanta and the citizens of Atlanta, and because of this flu season, this has really challenged us," Hany Atallah, MD, chief of emergency medicine at Grady Health System, told "Not only in terms of staffing, but more so in terms of space. In addition to the emergency department being full, we've also had a full hospital."

Grady is not the only hospital adding temporary space to manage increased patient volumes. Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network hospitals in Salisbury Township, Pa. and Bethlehem, Pa., added temporary surge tents to handle influxes of flu cases.

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