SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It's been a week since Baystate Medical Center unveiled its new state-of-the-art Emergency Department but not all patients have been happy with their experiences there.
They say they're waiting too long for care.
"I expected a wait, maybe an hour an hour and a half, maybe two hours at the most, but not 10 hours," said Springfield's Debra DeMars.
DeMars was one of a number of people to contact 22News after minutes turned into hours in the new waiting room and it appeared no one was getting treated.
"I was losing my field of vision in the eye, my field of vision was decreasing and finally my husband went up to the desk and said, look I'm going to have to call a lawyer if something isn't done."
22News took her and other complaints to hospital leaders who say there's a lot happening behind the scenes that waiting patients can't see.
Doctors say one of the goals of the new department was to give patients more privacy. For example, when additional patients are brought in by ambulance as many of them are, the patients in the waiting room, aren't seeing that.
Dr. Niels Rathlev said patients are seen based on the severity of their sickness, it's not first come-first serve.
He also said overall, more people are coming into their emergency department and they're doing whatever they can to keep up.
"Last week we were up 40% from the same time last year, the number of patients coming in by ambulance is up about 15-17 percent so these really are unprecedented increases in volume that we've seen and I think that's why there are some patients who have had to wait," Dr. Rathlev said.
Dr. Rathlev says it has been just one week, and it's too soon to draw conclusions about the care, but they are reviewing their staffing to see if changes need to be made.