Inova sees ‘unprecedented patient volumes’ post-Thanksgiving

A Virginia hospital system said that it is seeing “unprecedented patient volumes” following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Inova cited the spikes in flu, COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus or RSV and other illnesses as the reason for the surge and the strain on hospital capacity, particularly emergency departments.

“Inova Emergency Departments, in particular, across the system are experiencing a significant surge in patient volume and are operating at- or over-capacity. For every patient discharged another is waiting to be admitted,” Inova said in a news release.

And while Inova said it can handle the current surge, it’s asking for the community’s support, which involves getting vaccinations (or boosters) for flu and COVID-19; practicing safety measures such as hygiene, masking and social distancing; staying home and isolating if sick; and knowing when to get medical care.

“Patients are encouraged to consider if the hospital-based emergency department is the appropriate level of care to meet their medical needs. For emergency needs, Inova’s freestanding emergency departments provide the same level of emergency care and may have shorter wait times,” Inova said.

Patients experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency should call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Inova is the most recent hospital system in the D.C. area that has reported a surge in patients. Earlier this month, Children’s National Hospital in D.C. said that it is getting busier with cases of pediatric respiratory ailments.

In late October, Centers for Disease Control and Preventions numbers indicated that D.C. had the highest rate of flu activity in the nation. Virginia’s Department of Health also warned that this season of viral ailments may be worse than in recent years.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also announced expanded efforts to combat an increase in respiratory diseases. In November, Maryland launched a new Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) webpage, which included guidance for the flu and COVID-19.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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