Update: Methodist Dallas Medical Center says they are no longer at "critical capacity" and has resumed receiving all patients in need of treatment. Below is the original article.
Methodist Dallas Medical Center says they at "critical capacity" and that all non-emergency patients are being re-routed to urgent care facilities or other hospitals so that they can continue to handle emergencies.
The increase in patient load is largely due to an influx of patients with the flu, the hospital said. Methodist Dallas Medical Center said they are still accepting trauma patients and that anyone who arrives at the hospital needing emergency treatment will receive treatment.
Methodist Dallas Medical Center released the following statement:
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“Consistent with federal and state laws, Methodist Dallas Medical Center is currently re-routing non-emergency patients due to high volumes of patients with flu-like symptoms. This measure is so we can still take care of emergency patients such as trauma, stroke, and those transferred by ambulance. We take this very seriously because we want to be able to treat anyone in need anytime.
During the period while Methodist Dallas is re-routing patients, we encourage anyone having non-emergent symptoms to seek care at an urgent care facility or through their primary care physician.”
NBC 5 called several North Texas urgent care clinics Monday morning where wait times ranged from 30 minutes to four hours. People are urged to call ahead or schedule an appointment before going to their clinic of choice.
Eleven people in Dallas County have already died from the flu this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said flu season nationwide is far worse than what they saw last year at this time.
Left: Reported Flu Activity for the Week of Dec. 31, 2016 (Week 52); Right: Reported Flu Activity for the Week of Dec. 30, 2017 (Week 52)
Last year, 12 states had widespread cases, but this year there are 46.
More than 400 people have died from the flu around the country.
While the flu shot isn't always effective, doctors said if you catch the flu and have had the shot the symptoms may be less severe.
Click on each state for more information.
Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention