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Mid-Michigan emergency rooms overwhelmed, forced to turn away ambulances

All four Great Lakes Bay Region hospitals have diverted ambulances at the same time

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Mid-Michigan Emergency Rooms overwhelmed forced to turn away ambulances.

MMR ambulance

MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) - In his 25 years of treating patients in the emergency room MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland, Dr. Danny Greig has only been forced to make that difficult decision to turn patients away once -- until now.

“We’ve had to actually tell outside ambulances, ‘Hey, you can’t stop here.’ And that is a really difficult decision to make,” said Greig, who is medical director of the emergency department.

Ambulance diversions have happened multiple times.

“Four or five occasions here in the last couple of months for a total of 20 hours where we’ve had to go on diversion,” Greig said.

Diversion is when emergency rooms are overloaded to the point where they cannot accommodate another patient, forcing them to send patients to other hospitals for care.

“We have no beds, we have no staffing and we just -- if you drop the patient off here and we don’t feel like we can safely care for them,” Grieg said.

He said the facility is busier than ever, breaking records in the last few months for volume. The Midland hospital is not the only facility feeling the strain.

“It affects the whole Tri City area. It’s affecting all of us. There have been times when all four of our hospitals -- Covenant, St. Mary’s, McLaren and we have all gone on diversion at the same time,” Greig said.

He said no one gets turned away when that happens.

“We just start taking them again, because we have to find a way to meet people’s needs,” Grieg said.

He said MidMichigan Medical Center never turns away local patients or anyone who needs critical care and is receiving CPR.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.

Anchor/Reporter

Cheri Hardmon anchors ABC12 News on weekend evenings and works as a reporter on weekdays

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