LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas valley hospitals are bracing for the full impact of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays from COVID-19, and one hospital has already issued a disaster declaration because of an influx of patients.
The pandemic has tested Las Vegas area hospitals like never before with COVID-19 patients continuing to show up.
One area hospital issuing a disaster declaration: St. Rose Dominican Hospital in the southwest valley saying it had an ICU occupancy of 137% and treating more than 70 COVID-19 patients this past Saturday. Hospital staff said it has experienced a steady increase in critically ill COVID-19 patients and limited supplies.
Sunrise hospital also feeling the pressure. The chief medical officer there saying it’s at full capacity with about 700 patients. He says they have been able to beef-up medical staff.
“We’ve been fortunate to add 64 traveling nurses. That allowed us to take the pressure off of the system and reducing our nurse and patient ratios,” Dr. Steven Merta, Sunrise Hospital Chief Medical Officer, said.
It also created a specific treatment center outside to be proactive with COVID-19 patients.
“The purpose is to treat those COVID patients in the early stages, to prevent hospitalization and to take off that pressure,” he said.
University Medical Center is reporting 86% capacity saying it’s ready for any post-holiday surges.
Mountain View Hospital says it is caring for a large number of COVID-19 patients.
UNLV health professor Brian Labus says valley hospitals continue to see high levels of capacity, but not to the level of issuing a disaster declaration.
“We’re still full, but we, fortunately, haven’t crossed that line where we have to decide how do we take care of people,” he said.
Dr. Merta is asking people if they need to go to the hospital for a serious issue, they should still come.
“I don’t want any patients out there to not come to the hospital, but what’s most important for the community is to protect themselves, and what we encourage is mask-wearing. Social distancing.”
Dr. Labus echoing those calls.
“We don’t want people to stay home and have a serious condition and die from that condition in their homes. That’s the challenge though is how do we take care of all of those patients plus COVID on top of that,” he said.