Amid surge at UNM Hospital, feds send relief for staff

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government is dispatching a medical team to assist the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital, which has been overwhelmed with patients.

The Albuquerque hospital announced a 14-member disaster response team from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will begin seeing children Saturday.

The medical professionals will include a nurse practitioner, registered nurses, paramedics and respiratory therapists. They will relieve staff and fill in gaps where needed.

UNM Hospital officials say they are operating at over full capacity. The staff, many of who worked through the holidays, have been stretched thin. The hospital requested the extra support through the state Department of Health.

Hospitals across New Mexico have been dealing with the triple threat of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus—also known as RSV. Some doctors say they are busier than the past two winters when COVID-19 was the main factor increasing hospital admissions.

Earlier this month, UNM Hospital resorted to erecting a tent outside the emergency room to triage adult patients.