MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- Midland Memorial is feeling the strain as more and more beds fill with coronavirus patients.
In a news conference Monday, the hospital said it is caring for 125 patients with COVID-19. 28 of those patients are on a ventilator. The hospital also reported five coronavirus related deaths over the weekend.
Overall, the hospital has a total census of 235. That is an unusually high number for this time of year, according to hospital staff.
“Seeing a total of 235 patients hospitalized on August 30 is extraordinary. This is normally the time of the summer when we go to our lowest census of the year,” said chief Executive Officer Russell Meyers. “Having to open beds that we did not intend to have open for inpatient use is extraordinarily concerning.”
That high census has hospital management concerned about the winter months to come.
“There’s no sign, just yet, of any waning of this current surge. Winter is coming, we’ll see more and more respiratory disease and more and more needs that are non-covid. The worry that anybody operating a hospital has today is that a patient in urgent need will arrive here, we have no place to send them, and we don’t have the resources to care for them,” Meyers said.
Help, however, is on the way, at least when it comes to emergency care. The hospital now has a tent that will be placed near the existing Emergency Department to help care for select patients needing care. That tent should be operational by Tuesday and will be staffed with resources sent by the state, as well as some newly hired contractors.
“People that don’t have an immediate, emergency medical condition will be seen in the tent, typically what we’ve been seeing right now in our lobbies and in our hall space,” said Chief Nursing Officer Dr. Kit Bredimus.
The hospital has also been able to open additional beds on the sixth floor and hopes to open more later this week.