TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - System Chief Medical Officer Jeremy Blanchard said the pandemic continues to hit North Mississippi Medical Center's emergency room hard.
Blanchard said the emergency room is overwhelmed with coronavirus and non coronavirus patients. He said the number of medical workers is now limited because of the increase in local and transferred patients
Blanchard said beds are also filling up. Medical professionals had to open 21 new beds in the ER and treat patients in the hallways.
“So whenever those beds above the emergency department and in all the other floors are full, then the emergency department has the roll of managing those patients,” he said.
Blanchard said the vaccine is helping, but the hospital also needs the public to do their part. He stressed if people require urgent or emergency care or surgery, then they should go to the ER. All other cases should be checked out at a local clinic or urgent center.
"Don’t avoid going to the clinics or the urgent centers if you need care because if you delay it then you now will become an urgent or emergent case and require admission which then competes for that bed,” he said.
Blanchard is also asking everyone to wear their masks and social distance. He said doing this will lower the number of coronavirus patients in the emergency room.
"There’s some discussion about freedom of choice. My choice is to care about everybody. So if I care about everybody then I have to wear a mask. And if you don’t wear a mask, then it probably means you really don’t care about me,” he said.
Blanchard said if the number of patients continue to increase, more supplies will be limited.