Doctors Warn of Healthcare Bottlenecks over Chuseok

  • By Kim Chul-joong

    September 08, 2022 12:47

    Emergency rooms could be overtaxed this Chuseok holiday unless people exercise restraint, the Korean Society of Emergency Medicine has warned. 
    "Working at a hospital ER during the holidays was always a nightmare," said KSEM chief Lee Hyung-min. "There could be chaos in ERs with both COVID and other patients during this year's Chuseok." 
    The society urged patients with mild symptoms to refrain from visiting hospital emergency rooms. Those with non-life-threatening complaints like a fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, laceration, a sprain or slight injury should visit primary healthcare centers in their region instead.  
    It also urged patients with chronic diseases, including cancer and dialysis patients, to consult with hospitals or doctors in advance. 
    "Normally, stomach pain and diarrhea patients take up the biggest proportion of hospital visitors during the Chuseok holiday. People should refrain from overeating or drinking too much to prevent acute gastrointestinal disorders," Lee said. "Stock up on antipyretics and cough remedies that can alleviate flu symptoms." 
    "ERs are open 24/7, but they simply can't provide medical services to all patients at the same time. Emergency treatment is given not on a first-come first-served basis, but with top priority to critically ill patients," he added. 
    "If patients with mild cases refrain from using ERs to prevent overload, they can help save critically ill patients."  
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