MCH to expand COVID-19 Unit amid hospital surge


ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Following an increase of COVID-19 cases, MCH has now made the decision to expand its COVID-19 unit, they will provide 28 more beds for their patients. The hospital is housing 32 COVID-19 patients, 10 are in critical care, and three are on ventilators.

Trevor Tankersley, the MCH Director of Public Relations said, “We discharged six overnight but we still have increased our case count. By the time they are discharged we’ve got six more at the door waiting to come in.”

“Our critical care beds and our ICU beds are becoming full, if not full already, so we have decided to open another COVID-19 floor. We are going to convert our 8th floor into a COVID-19 unit,” added Russell Tippen, the CEO of the Medical Center Health System.

Tippen said the current number of cases concern him ahead of an extended holiday weekend. The hospital has also decided to suspend all elective surgeries that require an overnight stay in order to protect their resources, employees, and patients.

Dr. Timothy Benton, the MCH Interim Co-Chief Medical Officer said, “We just need to prepare and make room for more that is probably coming. With the governor’s instruction to keep 15% of our capacity open whether that be staff, beds, or PPE supplies.”

This suspension will last for two weeks and will be re-evaluated after that time if it needs to be extended. MCH is also operating on a county diversion plan, meaning they will not accept transfer patients from outside of Ector County. According to ORMC, they aren’t there yet but they are close and the community must do more to help out local hospitals during the surge by social distancing and wearing a mask.

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