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Philadelphia hospital where man died faces heavy volume

Philadelphia Inquirer, December 10, 2009

The busy emergency room at Aria Health's Frankford campus in Philadelphia was on "divert" status for 121 hours last month. For an average of four hours a day, things were so tight that ambulances were advised to take patients elsewhere, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. It is unclear whether high volume at the hospital played any role in the death of Joaquin Rivera, whose watch was later stolen, while he waited for care Nov. 28. But healthcare experts and one state official say there is clearly a crunch at the facility—due in part to the closing of nearby Northeastern Hospital, which used to see at least 45,000 emergency patients a year, the Inquirer reports.