Wednesday, February 23, 2005


If you have to go to an emergency room across much of Florida, you know that you are usually in for a wait. Tuesday, it got to the point that Lakeland Regional Medical Center had to divert ambulances to hospitals in Bartow, Winter Haven, and as far as Osceola County because it's ER and Intensive Care Unit were overcrowded.

LRMC has the second busiest ER in Florida, lagging only Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. Recently emergency departments across Florida have been feeling the pinch, noting that hospitals in Plant City, as well as some in Osceola and Marion counties, diverted ambulances to other facilities because they could not handle the crowd.

For a time Tuesday the situation at LRMC was such that ER patients were being put in temporary hallway beds on regular patient floors until they could be seen. The situation has been building for some time.


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