LBJ Hospital asks patients to go elsewhere after data line cut

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- LBJ Hospital is asking less critical patients to seek medical attention elsewhere following a fiber data line that was severed by construction crews.

According to the Harris Health System, there are no calls that can go in our out. They can't share diagnostic imaging, CT scans, MRIs or any other tests. The hospital is now operating as it did more than a decade ago.

"We have to use paper now. We've gone back to a complete paper process," said Jessie Tucker with LBJ Hospital. "We go through significant triage processes where we make sure we take care of the most significant or serious patients first."

Ambulances have been placed on diversion while patients inside the ER are piling up.

"It's really clogged up. There's people waiting. There's people standing up. There's people waiting in line," said Rick Escobedo who came to the hospital after feeling ill.

Escobedo said he's going elsewhere to get help, while others said they can't leave because their medical records are not accessible.

"It's a 12- to 16-hour wait is what they just told us there. They're advising people to go to the clinic or something unless it's an emergency medical help," said Samantha McDowell.

A significant triage process is underway.

"We do what we can to save a life, and we worry about the paperwork later," said Tucker.

Hospital officials expect the outage to last roughly 14 hours.
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