(WGHP) — Hospital leaders across the Triad say it’s critical people get the care they need at the right place.
When they don’t, it leads to what one man experienced at Cone Health in Greensboro: a 14-hour wait.
“When I went to the emergency room, I was thinking maybe two to four hours. but it took 14 overnight to see a doctor,” said Marvin, who does not want FOX8 to use his last name.
“I thought it was a stroke or aneurism or something goofy going on,” he said.
He left his home at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday and waited until 9 am. on Wednesday to get treatment at the Cone Health emergency room
“When your brain doesn’t act right, and your vision starts going crazy…as a precaution, I went there to make sure nothing bad was happening,” Marvin said.
He did try Teledoc, which is a virtual healthcare service, before coming to the hospital.
“They said based on my condition to go to an ER immediately to make sure nothing bad wasn’t happening.”
As nurses at Cone checked patients’ blood pressure, Marvin inquired about the wait times.
“They said they were out of beds basically, so they couldn’t move people out the emergency room to the move upstairs…the hospital was full basically,” he said.
Cone health’s lead COVID-19 physician, Doctor Brent McQuaid, recently told FOX8 that staffing shortages play a role in the long wait times.
COVID-19 is an added stressor.
“It’s not the dominant diagnosis in the ICUs like it was a year ago, but it does add a stressor because we’re still taking care of patients who have had surgery. We’re still taking care of patients who come in with influenza, for example, or other respiratory infections that float around this time of year,” McQuaid said.
It kept Marvin in the hospital overnight.
“I have never been to an ER before in my life…but that’s for sure a long time,” he said.
No one from Cone Health was available to speak to FOX8 today about the wait times. In a statement, we learned the average wait for non-critical conditions at the health systems has more than doubled since the time prior to COVID-19.
Both Novant and Cone Health advise patients with non-life-threatening conditions to see their primary care doctor or head to an urgent care before making the emergency department their first stop.