According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a dangerous flu has been spreading rapidly across the United States, escalating flu season earlier than usual, and to near-epidemic levels. As a result, many hospitals, clinics and ambulance services are being tested in order to respond to the increased patient loads.
Acadian Ambulance is seeing the effects of the increased number of flu cases throughout our service areas in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. “We are experiencing a much higher call volume, with many of those calls related to flu symptoms,” said Acadian Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag. On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Acadian transported 2,211 patients, a daily record for the 46-year ambulance service, exceeding levels normally seen in response to hurricane evacuations and other high-volume events.
To meet the increased demand for ambulance transports, Acadian Ambulance has been continually activating extra crews and units, including putting supervisory and management personnel back into the field responding to calls. The increased transport volume is also stretching the resources of many of hospitals in Acadian’s service area, with many reporting emergency room visits and admissions levels much higher than normal.
The increased patient volume is creating some delays in scheduled, non-emergency transports such as facility transfers. “Obviously, we must prioritize the emergency calls, which sometimes causes delays in our scheduled non-emergency trips. We are working with our facilities to facilitate all requests as quickly as possible. Our healthcare partners are experiencing the same capacity issues, so we are all working together to prioritize and to provide the best level of care to our patients,” Zuschlag added.
Because of Acadian’s vast resources of medics and ambulances, the company is able to shift assets to ensure emergency services and response times are not adversely affected. “We appreciate the both the patience of our healthcare partners and the extra hours our medics are working in response to this year’s unprecedented flu season,” Zuschlag said.