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Kaleida Health already seeing impact of Mercy Hospital strike

Oishei Children's Hospital seeing more babies delivered and Gates Vascular seeing increase in cardiac and stroke cases.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The impact is already being felt on other members of the healthcare community in light of the strike at South Buffalo Mercy Hospital. 

Some 2,200 members of CWA Local 1123 who work at the Catholic Health facility walked off the job at 6 a.m. Friday.

Kaleida Health said it is already seeing more deliveries at it's maternity unit at Oishei Children's Hospital. Staff at Gates Vascular Institute says they are seeing additional patients needing cardiac and stroke care.

"We have been monitoring the Mercy Hospital strike situation very closely for the past 48 hours and we have responded accordingly as we continue to see additional patient volumes here," said Michael P. Hughes, senior vice president and chief administrative officer for Kaleida Health. 

"As far as impact, in the past 24 hours alone we have seen an increase in labor & delivery cases at Oishei Children’s Hospital as well as cardiac and stroke cases at the Gates Vascular Institute. Ambulance traffic at Buffalo General Medical Center, for example, was extremely high Thursday and is expected to increase even more today. ER volumes are up the past two days but remain manageable – for the time being - at Buffalo General Medical Center, Oishei Children’s Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and DeGraff Medical Park."

Kaleida says it's opened a Corporate Command Center to help with continued increase in emergency room volumes, wait times and stress on bed availability.

"Kaleida Health intends to remain open and provide access to services across our organization. We continue to add resources and post positions so that we can continue to be there for the community," said Hughes. 

Hughes adds that the ERs at Buffalo General OCH, Millard Suburban, DeGraff Medical Park and its partner ECMC remain safe, open and ready to treat emergency patients.

Kaleida is reminding anyone experiencing critical medical issues such as chest pain, or stroke symptoms not to delay care. You can check ER wait times here.

The health care company advises that there are things the community can do as well to minimize the effects of the strike on other facilities such as: