Orange Regional Medical Center ‘divert status’ lifted

Posted: Updated:
WALLKILL -

An Orange County hospital is once again treating emergency room cases after a surge in patients caused them to turn people away.

This is the second time in recent weeks Orange Regional Medical Center chose to divert some patients to other area hospitals.

Orange Regional Medical Group President Gerard Galarneau says a post-holiday surge in ER patients caused the hospital to run out of beds and temporarily send some incoming cases to other area hospitals.

"If a hospital and ER is inundated with patients and someone comes in with a significant issue, our concern is we'd miss that if we had too many patients,” he says.

Hospital representatives say the surge was due to an influx of cases that weren't true emergencies and since they can't turn patients away, the ER became too full to treat anyone else.

While ORMC's "divert status" was lifted by mid-afternoon Tuesday, Galarneau says the situation is an opportunity to remind patients that emergency rooms are for emergencies only and that the hospital in Wallkill also has an urgent care in the same facility to treat other types of urgent cases.

"It's really about educating the community to make a better choice for where they get their medical needs taken care of,” says Galarneau.

Earlier this month. ORMC diverted some surgical cases due to a problem with its instrument sterilization process. That issue has since been resolved.

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