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Local hospitals impacted as flu strikes Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. – Over the past few days there has been an increase of patients in the emergency department, and an increase in patient load across the region, due the flu.

"Over the past few days we've seen an increase of patients in the Emergency Department, an increase patient load across the region,” said Robin Manke RN, Dir. Emergency Management VCU Health System.

When hospital beds are at a minimum, hospitals go on CODE RED Diversion, meaning all area EMS must call in to VCU Medical Center.

"They will let us know which hospital they want to transport that patient too,” said Deputy Chief David Salot, Colonial Heights Fire & EMS.

He explained that the purpose is to spread the number of patients across all the hospitals, so that no one hospital gets overwhelmed.

This only applies to patients traveling by ambulance and does not apply to walk in or trauma patients.

"It allows individuals to get to where they need to be, at the facility and be taken care of in the time frame the need to be taken care of,” Manke said.

While not every patient heading to the hospital had the flu, many medical facilities are reporting a higher influx of flu patients.

"Speaking from Colonial Heights perspective, our call load has been up significantly the past few days,” Salot said.

Code Red Division started 8:41 Monday night, and was lifted around 10 am. Tueday.

Manke said the chances that regional area hospitals will go back to Code Red are very high, given flu season.

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