OMG WTF? –
DEC. 2, 2019 – The inpatient detox units at all 11 city-run hospitals are about to close — steering people struggling with alcohol and drugs back into already busy emergency rooms, THE CITY has learned. The shutdown, expected to occur in the next few weeks, worries some nurses now working the emergency rooms of the city’s Health + Hospital Corp. facilities.
The detox units provide a fully-staffed 24-hour-a-day operation where patients can go through the difficult process of weaning themselves off drugs and alcohol under the supervision of doctors and nurses specially trained to deal with withdrawal. Patients undergoing the grueling process can become violent. Some nurses currently handling general emergency room assignments where the patient load can sometimes be overwhelming fear the extra burden will be too much.
At Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, for example, federal hospital statistics cited “very high” emergency room volume as of 2017. Last year, ER wait times for patients in the general medicine and psychiatric units there ranked far above the national average.