Harrison County

Memorial Hospital's post-Thanksgiving emergency backlog cleared

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FILE PHOTO 
 Memorial Hospital is diverting some patients to other emergency rooms today because of an overflow of patients.
FILE PHOTO Memorial Hospital is diverting some patients to other emergency rooms today because of an overflow of patients.

Emergency room visits tapered off Wednesday at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport after a busy post-Thanksgiving crush, when some ambulances were diverted to other emergency rooms.

Janet Stuart, Memorial's marketing and communications manager, said the emergency room began diverting some ambulances Wednesday morning to Garden Park north of the interstate in Gulfport and to Merit Health in downtown Biloxi, but stopped the diversions by 7 p.m. Wednesday as more beds became available.

She said patients were coming to the emergency room with typical illnesses, combined with post-Thanksgiving maladies: respiratory and lung problems, diabetes, hyperglycemia, abdominal pains and strokes.

Memorial does not divert patients who are on dialysis, or suffering strokes, chest pains or severe trauma, she said. Memorial is the only Level II trauma center in the three Coast counties, as certified by the Mississippi State Health Department. As a Level II trauma center, Memorial is able to treat a broader range of traumas, and provide neurological and orthopedic surgeries.

Memorial finds its 45-bed emergency room overcrowded three or four times a year. The hospital reciprocates with Garden Park and Merit, taking patients from those hospitals when their emergency rooms are overwhelmed.

Stuart said Memorial always has a busy emergency room. She recommends that residents with non-emergency complaints visit one of the hospital's 13 walk-in clinics in Harrison, Hancock or Jackson counties. Locations are listed here.

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