Maine's Largest Hospital Swamped With Patients

Mar 3, 2017

A spike in patients caused Maine Medical Center to divert nonemergency ambulances from its Emergency Department this week.

Hospital spokesman Clay Holtzman says there’s no single cause for the increase in demand.

“Because the Medical Center has a significant number of double-occupancy rooms, and we see the sickest level of patients in the state, we have a reduced capacity to respond to sudden increases like we saw earlier this week in patient admissions,” he says.

The diversion lasted from Wednesday afternoon till Thursday evening. During that time period, Holtzman says the hospital would typically receive 80 ambulance transfers, but that was reduced to 40.

Holtzman says Maine Medical Center typically goes on diversion a couple times a year, and that a proposed modernization and expansion plan would alleviate the problem.