With Ambulances Diverted from St. Vincent's, Bellevue Sees More Cases

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Now that St. Vincent's hospital is diverting ambulances away from its emergency room, other downtown hospitals, like Bellevue, are picking up more patients. Doctor Chris McStay, Assistant Director of Emergency Services at Bellevue, says he's noticed a difference.

"We have seen a number of their ambulances transporting patients to us, where as I think they would normally be transporting those patients to their facility," he says.

McStay says they normally receive 2,000 emergency room patients a month and he's certain that number will go up.

"We now are the only level one trauma center for lower Manhattan, so we expect to see all of the major trauma that occurs, whereas a significant portion of that did go to St. Vincent's," he says.

Speaking from the Emergency Room where McStay just finished his shift, the doctor says Bellevue is temporarily asking its staff to work longer hours to accommodate the influx of extra patients.

City hospitals are asking the state for emergency funds to help them pick up the slack from St. Vincent's. The Greenwich Village hospital's board announced this week that it's ceasing all inpatient services and it began diverting ambulances to other facilities this morning.