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Couple waits hours at hospital, leaves because of overcrowding

The pair waited hours to see a doctor, and were told the wait could stretch until early morning.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:39 PM CST
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HEARNE, Texas (KBTX) - Overcrowded hospitals are becoming a reality again as COVID-19 cases rise. Kay Pack and her husband live in Hearne and traveled to Baylor Scott & White College Station’s emergency room Wednesday because he was having trouble breathing. They chose that hospital because that’s where their doctors and medical records are.

“They took his blood pressure, they did a EKG. After they got through with the triage, we went into the waiting room,” Pack said.

There were about 50 to 60 people in the waiting room and there was nowhere for people to sit, according to Pack. She said the crowd overflowed into the waiting room in the main hospital. During their wait, her husband got an x-ray and did some blood work but was sent back to the waiting room after both.

“We were there from like 4:30 to 5 o’clock until almost 9 p.m. and didn’t see a doctor,” Pack said.

Pack said her husband tried to get his test results but was told he would have to get them from the doctor.

There was a couple who had been waiting since lunchtime the previous day, according to Pack, and she knew her and her husband’s wait could also be lengthy.

“When I asked how long it would be before we asked a doctor, they said it could be early morning hours of the day,” Pack said.

Baylor Scott & White provided this statement:

“This latest COVID-19 spike is putting extraordinary pressure on our hospitals, our emergency departments and our healthcare professionals.

As has been widely reported, COVID-19 testing is limited across the country. We ask those seeking COVID-19 testing who are asymptomatic or who have mild symptoms to call 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905 or visit 211texas.org to find a testing site.

Please help us reserve our emergency departments for those who are seriously ill or injured so that our hospitals are ready for those who need care most during this time.

With the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus in our communities, we each need to do our part in protecting our families and neighbors. We urge the community to help us and each other by getting vaccinated, getting boosted, distancing and wearing a mask.”

The healthcare workers’ fatigue was clear to see, according to Pack.

“They’re exhausted, and they’re trying so hard to be professional and there are people like me that I’m sure that I didn’t come across as the nicest person but, you know, I was worried, I was scared,” Pack said.

Pack and her husband are now doing what they can from home. They are working on getting the necessary medications, and a respiratory therapist has checked her husband’s oxygen and BiPap machines.

“We called Scott & White today to his pulmonary doctor. The soonest he can be seen is June,” Pack said.

The couple is remaining hopeful, especially as Pack’s husband heads back to work next month.

“I’m just scared that something will happen and we won’t be able to get medical care,” Pack said.

Following this story’s publication, Baylor Scott & White officials were able to arrange for Pack to be seen by his doctor on Friday ahead of his return to work.

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