Hospital diversion status removed

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hospitals in the Central Virginia Region were removed from a Code Red Diversion Status, Centra Southside Community Hospital Director of Marketing Kerry Mossler reported at approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Area hospitals, including Centra Southside Community Hospital, were placed under a Code Red Diversion Status at approximately 8 p.m. Monday evening, Mossler said.

Kerry Mossler

A diversion status, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) Alerting and Status System website, is defined as hospitals where “specific services are unavailable or are currently being utilized to maximum capacity. (Emergency Medical Services) EMS units are advised to transport to another health care facility if possible for patients needing these specific services.”

A full status “indicates that patient load is utilizing all current emergency department/hospital resources. EMS units are advised to transport to another health care facility if possible,” the website cited.

Mossler said all area EMS personnel had been routed through Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center, based in Richmond, for a short time.

She said the current status of Centra Southside Community Hospital is that the hospital is full but that officials are taking steps to accept new patients.

“As far as our hospital is concerned, we are full, but we are accepting patients,” Mossler said. “We’re opening up another unit.”

Mossler said the hospital is opening units in the birthing center and the pediatric center. She said the hospital will have more beds as a result of making the units available.

“We have (an) increase in (the) flu,” Mossler said about a cause of the hospital being full. “We’re expecting a high number of discharges today.”

Mossler said she wanted to correct inaccuracies placed on social media. One of these inaccurate reports cited that patients are still being redirected to VCU Medical Center because all area hospitals are full. This is not true.

Brian Butler, president of the Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad, said Tuesday that the Monday diversion status did not affect the squad’s operations.

“We have not had to change any of our operations as a result of it,” Butler said.

He said the purpose of the status was to ask members of the community to seek treatments from primary care physicians if available.

“What that was meant to do was, of course, to encourage people to go to their primary care physicians if at all possible because the hospitals have become overwhelmed with patients,” Butler said.

He said the squad has not experienced challenges in transporting patients to Centra Southside Community Hospital.

Mossler said the hospital’s emergency room and Centra Medical Center are open, and ambulances can come to Centra.

“We are fully staffed, 24/7,” Mossler said.