© 2023 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Atrium deploys mobile emergency department in Charlotte to help with respiratory illness cases

People unloading cables
Carolinas Medical Center
/
Atrium
Workers setting up cables for MED-1, the mobile emergency department.

Atrium Health’s Mobile Emergency Department, MED-1, has been deployed at Charlotte hospitals to help with a rise in emergency room visits. The MED-1 is an emergency department on wheels that can help treat less critical patients and provide additional bed space.

Officials said the decision to deploy Atrium’s MED-1 to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center and Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital was a preventive one, driven by concerns over rising cases of flu and other viral illnesses.

Physicians and administrators with Levine Children’s Hospital told reporters Monday that children’s ER visits remain high, but that those visits fell slightly over the last week.

Callie Dobbins with Levine Children’s Hospital said now is the perfect time to "prepare and be ready for more viral illnesses that we expect to happen later this year and that will be using our MED-1 assets."

Chan Rouse, with Carolinas Medical Center, said that deploying MED-1 helps provide capacity to treat the everyday traumas that come through the ER.

"We serve as an emergency department across the community, so we are fully prepared for any patient surge that we might face," said Rouse.

Patients who need lab work, medication refills, or X-rays can be seen in MED-1 — as well as those suffering from rashes, lacerations or minor sprains.

Officials have said that even as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, they're seeing higher-than-usual cases of flu and RSV, a viral illness that's particularly dangerous for very young children.

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Select Your Email Format

Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.