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Coronavirus Crisis Contributing To Emergency Room Problems

Capital Regional Medical Center

Fear of getting the coronavirus - or a misplaced desire not to overburden area hospitals - are causing problems for Tallahassee's emergency rooms. 

Capital Regional Medical Center Nursing Director Ann Smith said, "The patients that are coming to our emergency departments are really, really sick right now. And sometimes they maybe should have been seen earlier than they are."

Tallahassee Memorial Assistant Medical Director Dr. Colby Redfield is seeing the same thing.

"You see someone with a little bit of heart failure, you might be able to treat them with a little diuretic and get them home. They come in a lot sicker and now they have to be admitted to the hospital."

This is probably the last thing the patient wanted. Both Redfield and Smith insist that no one should hesitate to come to either hospital ER if they need to go.

"We have mothers having babies. We're able to take care of them and keep them safe. We have great precautions at the hospital. That's why we have no visitors right now," noted Smith.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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