Paramedics working around Mercy Hospital diversion

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo is suspending some of its services in anticipation of a possible CWA strike that could take place this Friday.


Outside Mercy Hospital in Buffalo.

The region’s two main ambulance providers, Twin City Ambulance and AMR Western New York, said they were working with their hospital and fire service partners to divert patients from Mercy Hospital.

They say the biggest impact is finding emergency room beds.

“So this results in longer transport times and then less availability of beds for the system that has already been taxed,” explained Scott Karaszewski, Head of Emergency Medical Services, AMR.

AMR .jpg


Scott Karaszewski, Head of Emergency Medical Services, AMR, in a Zoom interview.

Karaszewski says this area is fortunate to have Kaleida and ECMC health hospitals, as well as other Catholic health hospitals.

He stressed that even with a complete hijacking of Mercy Hospital, a life-threatening emergency will be dealt with immediately.

“Whether it was cardiac arrest, prominent birth and that sort of thing – so you would go, you would be stabilized and then transferred to a facility that could handle this type of thing,” Karaszewski noted. .



Scott Karaszewski, Director of Emergency Medical Services, AMR, in a Zoom interview.

“How fast can you make decisions about where to transport – where is best to transport for this patient?” Buckley asked.

“It is a decision of collaboration with the patient and you know the members of our team in the field, depending on the patient’s condition and whether the patient has the opportunity to ask the facility where they would like to go,” replied Karaszewski .

“They can expect us to always do our best to respond immediately and provide exceptional care in a pre-hospital environment and provide transportation to an appropriate hospital that can treat their illness or injury,” said Bryan Brauner, CEO of Twin City.

Braumer says the Mercy Hospital diversion has so far gone well without a massive increase in wait times.



Twin City CEO Bryan Brauner in a Zoom interview.

“We are still able to transport, especially the specialized care services for cardiac care, neurological emergencies, trauma – these hospitals are always available,” replied Braumer. “That we will, as always, do our best to respond immediately and provide exceptional care. “

Regarding pregnant women, Mercy Hospital has now suspended labor and delivery services.

But in a statement, Catholic Health said if a patient arrives in “active labor,” where delivery is “imminent,” she will deliver her baby in Mercy.

For non-urgent cases, they should not dial 9-1-1.



Twin City CEO Bryan Brauner in a Zoom interview.

“The best bet, at this point, would be that these expectant mothers would certainly know when they are expected and that now would be a good time for anyone planning to give birth in the next short period of time, to contact their doctor – contact their OBGYN talk about options, ”Braumer said.

Kaleida Health is responding to how the Mercy Hospital suspensions are now affecting their system.

Kaleida reports:

  • More emergency room visits and longer wait times are expected at Buffalo General Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and ECMC.
  • Oishei children’s hospital plans more deliveries
  • Gates Vascular Institute is already seeing additional heart and stroke volume

The ECMC said it is also planning for higher emergency room volumes and longer wait times.

The ECMC said it had also made “preparations” for any influx of patients during Mercy’s hijackings and suspicion of elective surgeries and other services.

The hospital recommends “Patients are considering using the telemedicine services of his emergency department. by visiting [], patients can book emergency medicine visits for a variety of conditions including: allergies, bronchitis, suspected COVID-19, cold and flu, cough, fever, sore throat, sinus infection, eye infection / irritation, rash skin, hives, stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other minor ailments. for anyone suffering from critical medical problems like chest pain, symptoms of stroke, abdominal pain, injuries, among others, do not delay in receiving care and come to the emergency department of the ECMC.

ECMC offers the following advice to the public:

  • First, consult their primary care provider for official medical advice.

The two paramedics say the best thing the community can do is to avoid having to go to the hospital if it isn’t an emergency.

“We just need the help of the community so that you know how to be wise in your decisions,” said Karaszewski.

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