Covid-19 is causing ambulance delays and longer ER waits—even for those without coronavirus

January 22, 2021


It's difficult for Americans to understand that if they seek immediate care, they may or may not get it now, said Dr. Ryan Stanton, a board member of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

"As Americans, we assume we always have access to care. We assume that the challenges of Covid are going to hit other people -- not us," said Stanton, an emergency physician in Kentucky.

"We're now at that precipice that we warned about, that if we lose enough access, it's going to be access for everybody. And we could lose lives. We could have permanent damage."

At Stanton's hospital in Lexington, "the Covid floor has spilled over to the entire hospital," he said.

That influx can mean delays for anyone with mild or moderate emergencies. On good days, those patients have little to no delay in getting the care they need. But sometimes, "you may have to wait for three or four hours," Stanton said.

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