FAYETTEVILLE, Ark (KNWA/KFTA) – Central EMS said in many cases it’s had to transport patients in need of immediate care to hospitals outside of Northwest Arkansas, or in some instances, it’s had to wait for a local ICU bed to open up.
Central EMS says this can sometimes take up to an hour.
Central EMS said this is due to the spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Josh Kuykendall with Central EMS said the problem he’s noticed is much larger than just the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Kuykendall explains there has also been a significant increase in non-COVID-19 related calls due to people putting off medical concerns out of fear of not wanting to go to the hospital.
“The COVID-19 patients are absolutely a struggle, and I don’t want to take anything away from that. But patients who’ve had a heart attack or dramatic injury and they need an ICU bed, it’s becoming a challenge to find a bed for them,” said Kuykendall.
Kuykendall can not stress enough if you feel you need medical attention, do not wait to call; the longer you wait, the less time Cental EMS and its medical network have to devise a plan to get you the quickest care they can.