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The 'new normal': Lexington man waits nine hours in the emergency room

Hospital Hallway
Posted at 2:18 PM, Sep 06, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For Mike Crowe, it all worked out, but it took about nine hours for him to be put at ease.

“I had a swollen leg, and I’ve had an amputation, so I’m very concerned about my other leg also and thought I could have a blood clot,” he said from his home on Labor Day.

Mr. Crowe went to the emergency room at CHI St. Joseph Hospital at around 4 pm last Thursday.

“By the time I got back (to be seen), it was 1:30 a.m.,” he said.

Mr. Crowe’s E.R. visit wasn’t unlike so many that have been made in recent weeks by patients either needing attention for COVID-19 symptoms, or, other matters.

“We all are seeing an influx of patients, and we all are doing our best to work with each other,” said Todd Gilbert, who runs the emergency room at St. Joseph.

Gilbert said the nine-hour wait experienced by Mr. Crowe was an anomaly, but long wait times have become the norm.

“I think, temporarily, it’ll be the new norm,” Gilbert said.

Crowe took it all in stride and didn’t place any of the blame on the St. Joseph staff.

“St. Joe was doing the best they could with that influx. They always do a great job over there, but this was just overwhelming for any hospital,” Mr. Crowe said before admitting he’s not as tolerant of those who refuse to get vaccinated.

“I just don’t understand that train of thought. They need to realize it’s not fake; it’s not a hoax. They need to get vaccinated so we can be done with this,” he said.

Mr. Gilbert feels the same way about the vaccination. He said the Regeneron monoclonal antibody is showing promise and works well on COVID symptoms to help alleviate the strain on hospital staffers, but it’s not something everyone should rely on.

“I want to stress that it is not a substitute for getting the vaccine,” he added.

Mike Crowe is back home and doing well now, but still thinking about those nine hours he spent in the emergency room.

“Because so many people who were unvaccinated were pouring into that ER. This is not Saint Joseph’s fault,” he continued.