Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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EMS: not sure what to expect with today's ER closure

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BATON ROUGE - The emergency room at Baton Rouge General Mid City closes its doors early Tuesday morning.

Ahead of the 7 a.m. closure, EMS says it isn't sure what to expect just yet, but have had to make the adjustment before, when Earl K. Long Hospital closed in 2013.

"Whenever Earl K. Long closed, we continued to do what we did back then, which was bring people to the hospital," said paramedic Brad Harris.

After Monday night, four emergency room's remain: Ochsner Medical Center, Baton Rouge General Bluebonnet, Our Lady of the Lake and Lane Regional Medical Center.  With the closure, a few things are for certain: EMS says there will likely be longer transport times and more traffic to navigate.

When a patient arrives at a hospital by ambulance, they either go to an ER bed, the waiting room or another place in the hospital.

Harris is most concerned about the drop time, what EMS calls the amount of time it takes for emergency rooms to take over patient care. Ideally, it should take about 20 minutes or less.

"Things get busy in the hospital and we may have to hold for awhile, while they find a bed for us or they place us in the appropriate part of the hospital," said Harris.

To help with the transition, the Bluebonnet ER has added jobs and beds. Two LSU health clinics have extended hours. The Airline location is open 24/7 and the North Foster location is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Both locations have seen an increase in patients in the last two weeks.


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