No single cause for emergency room visits

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Guam Memorial Hospital
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Public Health officials say they have not received any reports from either Guam Memorial Hospital or Guam Regional Medical City that would account for the increase in emergency room visits that have clogged both facilities this week.

Officials at both GMH and GRMC have reported an uptick in flu cases but territorial epidemiologist Dr. Ann Pobutsky said she can’t point to any single cause for the increased number of visits to island emergency rooms.

Still, still both Dr. Pobutsky and Public Health Director Linda DeNorcey emphasized the importance of visiting your family physician and getting immunized.

“You know, there’s a cold going around, there’s flu, it could be any or all of that. Nothing reported so far. No, and we’ve seen kind of the downswing of dengue cases but we’re still seeing a lot of suspects. But most of them the last couple of weeks have been negative. It could be also that people are clogging up the ER with that too,” Pobutsky said.

DeNorcey said: “People need to get into their primary care provider and get their immunization shots and if they’re older, pneumococcal vaccine. These are very critical, especially the elderly that are highly susceptible to being infected.”

Both GMH and GRMC reported that their emergency rooms were full at certain times this week. A shortage of nurses to care for admitted patients has aggravated the backlog of patients waiting for care in the emergency room.

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