01/04/2012 09:38 EST | Updated 03/05/2012 05:12 EST

ER wait times peak at 11 hours at Windsor Regional

Emergency room wait times at Windsor Regional Hospital peaked at 11 hours Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

The hospital's vice president of acute care, Karen McCullough, said the lengthy wait was not caused by a spike in seasonal flu, but because there were 85 "inappropriately placed" patients clogging the hospital's acute care beds.

"We usually see an influx of patients after the Christmas season. But the numbers are higher this year because of the alternative level of care in the city," McCullough said.

"Those patients, while sitting there waiting for a nursing home, are literally taking up space and place for patients that have different and higher needs of acuity," she said.

According to McCullough, 22 patients were in the hospital's emergency room, waiting for in-patient beds.

McCullough said there is an overall shortage of long-term care beds in the region. However, there are also 38 vacant nursing home spots available right now in Windsor.

"People have not chosen to go to those nursing homes," McCullough said. "We definitely need to be building more long-term health beds."