Hospitals, Doctors Cope with Overflow of Flu Patients

January 9, 2013 Updated Jan 9, 2013 at 8:43 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

January 9, 2013 Updated Jan 9, 2013 at 8:43 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - 41 states are currently battling widespread Influenza outbreaks. Flu patients are jamming doctor's offices and emergency rooms across the nation including right here in Western New York. Within the past 2 weeks alone Erie County health officials say they've seen a huge spike in documented flu cases. With two new strains of the virus circulating, countless people are sick throughout the region. Some hospitals were forced to cancel scheduled surgeries and turn away non-risk patients due to the influx in patient volume.
The Erie County Medical Center Emergency Room was bustling with people, overwhelmed by flu patients.

"Many hospitals are overloaded and quite honestly overwhelmed with flu like illnesses coming on, on top of our regular volume," said ECMC Emergency Room Physician Joseph Bart. "This being an emergency room department, we see an unpredictable amount of volume throughout the day but this flu has become a problem more so with people with underlying respiratory issues."