Seasonal illnesses push capacity limit for both Topeka hospitals

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Hospitals in the Capitol City have been seeing a high number of patients due to seasonal illnesses. So much so that both Stormont Vail Hospital and the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis campus were at capacity at one point over the weekend.

“We’re seeing a very high volume of patients, especially this time of the year,” said Angela Gamber R.N., Administrative Director of Emergency for Stormont Vail Hospital.

So many that both Stormont and the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis campus reached capacity Saturday, forcing both to implement their diversion plans.

“You’ve exceeded all your necessary resources to be able to safely take care of patients, and so you go on diversion,” she explained.

Meaning, Ambulances taking patents to Stormont were diverted to St. Francis. Walk-in patents were accepted, but they had to wait and be evaluated.

The increase in patients is due to the large number of seasonal illnesses going around.

“Flu season. Respiratory season. There’s a lot of G.I. bugs out there,” Gamber pointed out. “So we are seeing a very high volume of patients right now, and every community has some type of diversion plan.”

Soon after Stormont was at capacity, St. Francis was as well, forcing both hospitals to enact a community diversion plan, which means both stay open to deal with patients.

“Both hospitals reopen, which means come off diversion and the ambulances then rotate between the two hospitals,” said Gamber.

But they say overcrowding can be reduced by using their express care facilities and making sure you help prevent the spread of illnesses.

“Wash wash wash your hands. That is probably the number thing we could all do to stop the spread. Coughing into your elbow is always a great thing. Staying home when you don’t feel well,” she instructed.

Another tip: Stay away from the hospital if at all possible. Many times a virus can be spread just by waiting in the waiting room. Also, both hospitals are no longer on diversions.