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All El Paso hospitals now setting up tents to deal with patient influx from virus surge

hospital-tent
KVIA
A hospital tent goes up outside Del Sol Medical Center.

EL PASO, Texas -- The University Medical Center of El Paso recently started erecting heated isolation tents to treat coronavirus patients amid a surge in Covid-19 hospitalizations, and now other medical facilities are following with similar tent plans to manage the influx of those needing medical care.

UMC set up what was its fourth tent on Wednesday; the latest one can hold up to 21 patients, allowing for triage before they go into the emergency room.

"There are a lot of moving parts in any hospital, in particular today, so it's a matter of how we are managing patients in the emergency room, how we are handling them on Covid floors and we also have regular patients who need care that are non-Covid, so it is multifactorial," explained Dr. Joel Hendryx, UMC's chief medical officer.

The Hospitals of Providence began putting up their first set of tents on Wednesday; officials said all four of their hospital campuses received state-issued tents.

"Our hospitals continue to implement our surge plans to expand capacity to help manage the influx of Covid-19 patients to meet the rapidly expanding needs of El Paso," a hospital spokesperson said. "Medical tents will help decompress the Emergency Departments."

Del Sol Medical Center was also putting up a "tent structure" Wednesday to expand hospital capacity. Officials said it will be used to triage up to 14 patients - including those with critical care needs who require inpatient admission, until there is open space inside the hospital.

"The ‘tent’ is an advanced deployable medical care site that is a fully enclosed, HVAC-controlled, fixed structure," Del Sol said in a statement.

The tent deployments came on the same day that Texas emergency management officials began the process of converting a portion of El Paso's downtown convention center into makeshift hospital space.

El Paso health officials on Wednesday reported setting new records with more than 900 virus hospitalizations and over 200 patients in ICUs due to the virus.

Coronavirus / El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

Comments

7 Comments

  1. THIS IS WHY OUR HOSPITALS ARE FULL:

    Whistleblower says El Paso ambulances picking up COVID-19 patients from Juarez

    As emergency responders are being recognized across the nation, El Paso’s first responders may be facing more danger from COVID-19 than anyone else.

    El Paso firefighters in the trenches of the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot talk on the record about the number of people they are picking up every day from El Paso’s international bridges. “There’s somedays where it’s only three or four times and other days when it will be 13 or 14 responses. You’ll be there for one patient and [CBP] customs will let you know, hey there’s another one right behind them and another one sometime there are four or five waiting in line,” said the anonymous source.

    As a result of what appear to be escalating ambulance responses at the international bridges by the El Paso Fire Department, KFOX14’s source insists the city of El Paso is being left in a dangerously vulnerable position.

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