The Observer asked Presbyterian Healthcare Services about the handling of COVID-19 thus far. Here are two questions, with answers from Presbyterian Rust Medical Center Chief Executive Angela Ward:
Q: Is the hospital concerned there would be more patients with COVID-19 than it is equipped for?
A: Throughout the Presbyterian system, we would accommodate a surge in patients due to COVID-19 through triage and appropriate transfers to other facilities in New Mexico, in close coordination with the New Mexico Department of Health.
At Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, we could increase our adult ICU and medical-surgical bed capacity by canceling elective surgical cases and flexing some clinical positions, such as anesthesiologists and post-anesthesia care unit clinicians, to expand our critical care workforce. In addition, we would be able to repurpose procedure recovery areas and operating suites if needed due to a surge in patients.
Q: Is there anything else you would like me to know concerning this topic?
A: It is important to note that the vast majority of patients with COVID-19 do not require ICU-level care. In about 80 percent of cases, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can recover at home and do not require hospitalizations. Only a small proportion of those requiring hospitalization will end up needing intensive care.