BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Emergency rooms across the nation have long wait times, averaging four and a half hours. But at some Buffalo hospitals, the wait is much longer.
"Seven hours goes by and I went up to the counter and I was kind of rude with her and I'm like I'm leaving," said Teresa Klukowski.
Klukowski headed to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo looking for relief from endometriosis, a gynecological medical condition.
"I was sitting there for seven hours, throwing up in a bucket in their waiting room and they couldn't care less. They basically thought that I had the flu and she told me I had to wait until someone else who had the flu left. I said I don't have the flu, I know what's wrong with me," said Klukowski.
Samuel Brown also headed home without help. He waited at Buffalo General for six and half hours last Tuesday. He was having complications from sickle-cell anemia.
"We were sitting in the ER just waiting in excruciating pain. Sitting there I just couldn't take it anymore. I eventually said I got to go. I'd rather be at home in bed," said Brown.
According to Medicare.gov, the national average wait time before someone is admitted into the emergency room is four hours and 37 minutes. In New York State, that average is six hours and six minutes.
As far as the ERs in the Buffalo area, the longest wait is at ECMC at over seven hours. Kaleida Health and Mercy Hospitals average over six hours. At Sisters of Charity, the wait time is nearly a six hours. Kenmore Mercy comes close to the national average at over four and a half hours.
The long wait times are unbearable for those in pain.
Brown said, "If you would have saw that ER, it was terrible. People were just in agony, pain just sitting there, just crying and crying and no one was doing anything about it."
"Some of these people are going there for the flu or a stuffy nose or something that they can go to immediate care for and then those of us who really need to go for an emergency we have to wait forever," Klukowski added.
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