November 24, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A governor-appointed mental health council is asking state officials to find solutions for southern Nevada emergency rooms overflowing with psychiatric patients.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the directive Thursday came two days after four Las Vegas-area hospitals declared internal disasters and starting turned away ambulances because their emergency rooms were too full.
Emergency rooms throughout the area are sometimes holding up to 200 mentally ill patients, far more than the 120 they were regularly holding in 2004 when Clark County declared a state of emergency over the issue.
State health and human services director Mike Willden says it's not clear what will be done to fix the problem. Some options include opening more triage centers that divert psychiatric patients away from the ER, or enlisting help from private hospitals.