There’s not another one like it. As of this morning, Grady Memorial Hospital has a new mobile emergency room to treat flu patients. The hospital in downtown Atlanta, is the first in the country to get such a unit, according to Dr. Hany Atallah, Grady’s Chief of Emergency Medicine. The new 14-bed fully-stocked facility, Dr. Attallah says, will help handle the increase in patients due to the ongoing flu epidemic. “We think that we can get somewhere around 100 and 150 patients a day through these 14 beds.”
The tractor trailer-sized unit sits just outside the hospital’s main emergency room. While Grady sees 400 patients on an average day, officials say lately it’s more like 500. They say it’s because of the flu and other viral-related illnesses. Health officials say 670 people in Georgia have been hospitalized because of the flu, with 25 deaths in the state attributed to the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu has claimed the lives of at least 37 children across the country.