Monday, January 17, 2011

The Return of Flu Season

“I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”
- Winston Churchill
From the British Telegraph, "The hospitals are gridlocked.” Winter flu is overwhelming hospitals in England. Four weeks of intense pressures from flu have left casualty departments (i.e. emergency rooms) “overwhelmed” with patients.  Desperately sick people have been left for hours waiting on trolleys.
"Dozens of NHS [National Health Service] units have cancelled surgery and clinics for outpatients. At least 10 major centres issued “black alerts” — the highest emergency warning — meaning they were at breaking point, forcing patients to be sent elsewhere.
Scores of hospital wards closed due to norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, which put more than 1,200 beds out of use in one week as nurses attempted to isolate the disease. "
Part of the problem is that people have no place to go after hours and on weekends.
"In many parts of the country out-of-hours services are absolutely inadequate, so what we get is people turning up at A&E [Emergency Rooms] simply because they do not know where else to go"
Bottom Line

Be prepared for a very bad flu season. In England the number of deaths from flu had almost doubled.

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