Doctors at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are seeing a spike in flu patients turning to the emergency room for relief. Marianne Favro reports.
Doctors at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are seeing a spike in flu patients turning to the emergency room for relief.
"Since last week we're probably seeing approximately 50 to 70 more patients that have come in with flu-like symptoms than we've seen in the past," said Dr. Elaine Nelson, who heads the center's emergency department.
The increase in patients turning in with flu-like symptoms has prompted the hospital to put up a flu tent in their parking lot. This is the hospital's first time it has to set up an outside tent to treat flu patients.
"In the past we've been able to run flu overflow in other parts of the hospital that were empty," Nelson said. "But we are full so now we are using the tent."
Nelson also said one strain of the flu is more prevalent than it has been in the past.
"We are seeing swine flu this year," she said.
Patients who are not critically ill will be seen in the tent, with the hope they are treated and sent home quicker.