Hospitals see rise in patients amid operating at crisis standards of care | KOB 4

Hospitals see rise in patients amid operating at crisis standards of care

Colton Shone
Updated: November 30, 2021 05:15 PM
Created: November 30, 2021 02:23 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Hospital officials in our state are pleading with the public to keep their guard up as COVID-19 cases continue to climb and hospitals become more crowded.

To combat the problem, hospitals have brought in hundreds of travel nurses but still, there are no beds for sick patients. 

UNM Hospital is operating at 140% capacity.

"Not only are we using every normal bed that is available to us but we are also using parts of the hospital to care for patients that are not normally used for inpatient care," UNM Hospital Dr. Rohini McKee said. 

Across Presbyterian Hospitals, more than 200 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. 

"We run much higher than our licensed capacity as well and we brought in over 500 nurses to staff every bed," Presbyterian Healthcare Services Dr. Jason Mitchell said. "There are no empty beds at Presbyterian."

Health officials say it is too soon to see if the current vaccines will be effective against the Omicron variant, even as it dominates headlines. However, healthcare workers are bracing for what is coming. 

"We're continuing to see it grow and as we look at the modeling and the data, it looks like it's going to continue to grow through December," Dr. Mitchell said. 

According to COVID-19 tracking data, New Mexico reached the peak for hospitalizations in December 2020 with more than 900 patients. Hospital officials say if all New Mexicans were to get vaccinated against the virus, the pandemic would end in six to seven weeks. 

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