February 14, 2007 Edition

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Beds full at Lawrence
Memorial Hospital

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

For the last two weeks, Lawrence Memorial Hospital has been full, according to LHS president Leah Osbahr. Several patients have been sent to Jonesboro because of the shortage of beds.

"We are seeing more patients in acute illness, but we also have a large number of patients who come for swingbed ~ longer term care stays," Osbahr said. "With an elderly population, the primary user of health services, some will need to stay in a medical setting for rehab, therapy or treatment longer than is typically prescribed for an illness or accident."

Though the flu has definitely affected residents throughout Lawrence County, Osbahr said it is not the major illness affecting those at Lawrence Memorial right now.

"In January, the hospital broke records for patients receiving service at Lawrence Memorial," she said. "I cannot say that it is because our neighbors were sicker than usual or that any sort of epidemic swept the area."

The flu is a major illness in itself, but can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia.

Jamie Jordan, Nurse Practitioner at Hoxie Medical Clinic, said the first signs include high fever, body aches, runny nose and a cough. Patients with these symptoms need to be seen within 48 hours to begin the flu treatment regimen.

Of the full house at Lawrence Memorial, Osbahr said, "I truly attribute it to the confidence shown in us by our physicians. Pleasing the doctors and meeting their needs is a gateway for patient care."

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