Mercy Hospital establishes new triage tents to keep ER from being overwhelmed

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Mercy Hospital put new measures into practice Tuesday to keep its emergency room from being overwhelmed in this COVID-19 crisis.

They started using forward triage tents that you’ll visit before you go into the emergency room. This ensures the hospital will be able to screen out potential COVID-19 cases before they get into the hospital to infect other people.

Now, these tents are sent up at the front of the emergency room. This is not the same as those drive-up tents where you get the COVID-19 tests.

This is something new and different and just starting today at Mercy St. Louis.

The Mercy South hospital will start using triage tents Wednesday.

Many health officials in other countries have been overwhelmed in this crisis.

Under this arrangement, people will first be evaluated. The serious cases will still be rushed on through the emergency room, although COVID-19 cases will go through another entrance.

Those who may have coronavirus will go to a second tent where they’ll be evaluated and given instructions for hotline numbers to call to get tested, they likely will be sent home with instructions to self-quarantine.

The medical director of Mercy South’s emergency room says these forward triage tents are critical to controlling emergency room access.

As for those coronavirus test sites operated by Mercy Hospital, the number of people tested his risen dramatically. When they first started just over a week ago, they were testing about 30 people a day. Now, that’s up to about 120 patients a day.

A Mercy spokesperson says that’s a function of more folks coming down with symptoms of the disease.

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