Earl K. Long no longer admitting severe patients into ER
BATON ROUGE - Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital is turning people away in anticipation of its April 15 closure date.
As of April 1, the hospital is no longer admitting patients with severe injuries who would have to be kept overnight. Those patients will be sent to other hospitals which could be much farther away and add to EMS transport times.
"Depending on the time of the day, I think a ten to fifteen minute estimate is probably accurate," Baton Rouge EMS spokesman Mike Chustz said, "Unless you're in the four or five o'clock time range of rush hour, it could take more than an hour to transport a patient to (Our Lady of) the Lake from the airport area."
Patients with minor injuries such as broken bones will still be accepted into Earl K. Long.
The hospital is closing due to budget cuts in the state and a push to move state-run hospitals to private-public partnership facilities instead.
News 2's Ryan Naquin will have more on this story during the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts.