AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — DENT Neurologic Institute in Amherst has been working to take the burden off local emergency rooms by opening up to see patients who need immediate non-covid care.
“I saw eight brain tumor patients that needed surgery within 48 hours, otherwise they would die,” said Dr. Laszlo Mechtler of DENT.
“In the beginning, hospitals came to us and said ‘look, you have got to keep your doors open because you need to help keep patients out of the emergency rooms.”
Dr. Mechtler says Tuesday alone the institute saw 900 non-covid patients.
“Imagine if we would have shut down the Institute,” he said. “Those 900 patients would have to go somewhere else.”
Patient problems have ranged from spinal cord injuries, severe headaches, seizure disorders to the most severe—diagnosing some with brain tumors.
“Half of those patients would be in the emergency rooms and we do not want them to go to the emergency room because the physicians there are focused on COVID-19 patients.”
At Dent, Dr. Mechtler says the institute is screening each and every patient who comes in by taking their temperature, asking the appropriate screening questions and giving a face mask to anyone who may not have one. Dr. Mechtler says it creates a safe environment for staff and patients.
“We are very comfortable treating patients in this environment.”
DENT says the pandemic has been particularly hard on mental health patients and those who struggle with anxiety, depression or substance abuse. It’s a problem Dr. Mechtler believes isn’t talked about enough.
“I know of someone who overdosed on Fentanyl and was found in Delaware Park,” he said. “People are treating their own anxiety with their own means and that’s not healthy.”
DENT is also offering telemedicine, expanding diagnostic testing and medicinal therapies to expand services.