By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Emergency rooms locally and across the nation are packed thanks to a bad flu season.

Emergency room workers are swamped according to Dr. Jerahme Posner, an emergency medicine physician at Lankenau Medical Center. He explains what doctors can do if you get the flu and seek help.

“Patients are dehydrated, we’ll place an IV, we’ll check labs to make sure there are no abnormalities with their electrolytes, and lastly we’ll prescribe tamiflu, he said. “[It] not only helps the patient get better more quickly, it helps them become less transmissible with their disease to other people.”

He says if doctors believe a patient has the flu, he’s given a mask, gloves and isolated from others to prevent the virus from spreading.

Dr. John Matsinger, chief clinical officer at Virtua Health says his facilities are keeping up with demand

“We bring in extra providers weather that be nurses, physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to see them and we also, we really do make sure you get tested quickly and get you treated and if appropriate send you home so you can rest and get better, he said.

He adds that January is normally busy in the emergency department, but this year more people are testing positive for the flu than last year.