County-USC hospital overcrowding getting worse

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A detail of the exterior of the LAC + USC Medical Center on April 29, 2009 in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, California.

Overcrowding is getting worse at beleaguered Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center's emergency room despite an increasing number of transfers to other hospitals.

The emergency room is considered overcrowded more than 80 percent of the time, leading to lengthy waiting times. In June, an emergency patient needing hospitalization waited an average 15 hours before getting a bed.

Supervisors were given a report Tuesday showing from May to June severe overcrowding rose from 38 percent to 47 percent and dangerous overcrowding rose from 11 percent to 15 percent.

The emergency room has been increasing the number of patients it is sending to other hospitals. Some 209 were transferred to another county hospital or private facilities, which compared to a monthly average 167 in the past six months.

Information from: Los Angeles Times

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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