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Hospitals are crowded to near capacity with flu patients

Hospitals are crowded to near capacity with flu patients

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Flu season is here, and it’s here with a vengeance. Administrators at our hospitals said they're full to near capacity, and the flu is to blame.

“It's really put a tremendous amount of burden on our emergency departments,” Kadlec spokesperson Jim Hall said. “And really all our access points--our express cares, our urgent cares, and our emergency rooms.”

Health officials said they're seeing significantly more patients for the flu than they have in many years.

“We have been setting records at both our emergency room at Richland and the one here in Kennewick,” Hall said.

Kadlec's main ER saw about 200 patients in one day.

“We are in the height of the flu season, and this year it seems to be a little more serious than it has in the past,” Hall said.

Lourdes health officials said they've had to bring down extra beds to their emergency department. Kadlec is at 90% capacity, and leaders at Trios said they too have a high volume of patients.

“But the team is doing its best to meet the demand,” he said.

And they advise unless you're in a high-risk group like the elderly, pregnant women, and those with a preexisting condition, it might not be worth it to see a doctor.

“The advice is to just stay home and treat the symptoms as best you can,” Hall said.

Doctors said wash your hands, get rest, and drink plenty of water.

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