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LA County-USC hospital: Average emergency room wait is 12 hours; hospital may add beds

Archival postcard of Los Angeles County General Hospital.
Archival postcard of Los Angeles County General Hospital.
Tichnor Brothers Collection at Boston Public Library via Flickr Creative Commons

Dramatically overcrowded Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center may be adding 150 beds to the hospital. Currently the facility operates with 600 inpatient beds — 224 fewer than the aging tower it replaced after opening in 2008.

The L.A. Times reports the hospital has experienced emergency room wait times that average 12 hours, and that because of the shortage, the hospital regularly diverts ambulances and transfers patients elsewhere.

At a Tuesday Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Gloria Molina — who calls the emergency room "dangerously overcrowded" — said she planned to propose changes to the center's master plan in an effort to prepare for more beds.

Records indicate that nearly 100 patients were transferred to the county-run Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Hospital during the month of January; 65 patients were sent elsewhere.