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State Authorizes Surge Diversion At Brooks-TLC

Photo by Natasha Matteliano

Brooks-TLC Hospital System has been under an EMS Surge Diversion, which was authorized by New York state on Tuesday evening.

Mary E. LaRowe, president and chief executive officer of Brooks-TLC, said at one point during the evening, the the hospital on Central Avenue in Dunkirk was at 100% capacity. LaRowe explained those numbers have just as much to do with staffing as it does with bed capacity.

According to the state notice, “The current patient load exceeds the hospital’s ability to treat patients promptly.

Last week, LaRowe noted the greatest issues Brooks-TLC was facing in regard to the increasing COVID-19 numbers had to do with keeping staff levels appropriate. “We have a surge plan that allows us to add beds to accommodate a good uptick in patient census,” she said last week. “However, staffing is the largest challenge for many hospitals and Brooks-TLC is no different. We are competing with staffing agencies across the country for nurses and other key front-line staff. Beds are not the issue right now.”

The surge diversion notice was sent to area emergency transport services and went into effect at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It was scheduled to end at 8 this morning. LaRowe said she was still awaiting word from the state on the notice for expiration.

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