State issues public health emergency order as respiratory viruses rise - Albuquerque Journal

State issues public health emergency order as respiratory viruses rise

Kara Garner, a nurse at University of New Mexico Hospital, carries hot towels on November 14, 2022, to a room in the new 12-bed unit set up to treat young patients affected by the RSV surge, which is having an impact on hospitals. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico hospitals are returning to the “hub-and-spoke” model of patient triage, which was used throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, amid a rising number of pediatric patients.

Acting Health Secretary David Scrase issued a public health emergency order Thursday, citing an increasing number of pediatric patients, a shortage of hospital staff and a lack of certain types of medical equipment.

The hub-and-spoke model allows hospitals to more easily transfer patients to other hospitals based on how sick the patient is and the availability of resources.

The health order also calls on the state to apply for waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand bed capacity and take other measures because of the surge of patients.

The order also advises parents not to send sick children to school or day care and take other precautions, such as wearing masks in indoor settings and staying up-to-date on vaccinations.

“We expand our social networks during the holidays, which is an important part of nurturing ourselves as human beings living in a complex world,” Scrase said in a statement. “However, at the same time we create more opportunities for respiratory viruses to spread.”

The order will remain in effect until Scrase either amends or rescinds it.

The Department of Health said the order is needed because of a surge of pediatric patients and other hospitalizations for respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, COVID and influenza.

The order also said there is a shortage of hospital staff, including doctors, nurses and other providers. It said the state has a lack of bed and critical equipment, like oxygen supply systems, endotracheal tubes and pediatric oxygen converter kits, which are needed to treat RSV cases.

RSV is a common virus that usually causes mild symptoms, but the virus can be particularly dangerous for some infants and small children, especially those under 2, according to the DOH. It is spread by virus-containing respiratory droplets transmitted through coughing and sneezing.

“As health care providers in New Mexico, we will continue to work closely to support children across the state who need care at this challenging time,” said Dr. Jason Mitchell, chief medical and clinical transformation officer at Presbyterian Healthcare Services. “We encourage families to prevent the spread of RSV and other respiratory illnesses and to seek care if it is needed.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » State issues public health emergency order as respiratory viruses rise

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
New Mexico seems determined to extend class time. What ...
ABQnews Seeker
Three competing proposals are on the ... Three competing proposals are on the table
2
Agency delays protections for imperiled bat, prairie chicken
ABQnews Seeker
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced ... U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced new designations for the lesser prairie chicken set to take effect bumped to March 27
3
New NM health secretary learning on the job after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Patrick Allen heads a key agency ... Patrick Allen heads a key agency on the front lines of the state’s pandemic response, after leaving behind a lengthy state government career in ...
4
Kenneth H. Martinez, 1954-2023: Former district judge ‘was good ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court ... Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court judge had a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease
5
New Mexico bill would ban contracts for migration detention
ABQnews Seeker
Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual ... Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual arrangements at Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral
6
Native American leaders: Educational trust fund will be key
ABQnews Seeker
Native American leaders said creating a ... Native American leaders said creating a special $50 million trust fund to help finance educational p ...
7
No drama for birthday llama: ABQ llama celebrates 27th ...
ABQnews Seeker
'This llama is bringing everyone together,' ... 'This llama is bringing everyone together,' says family friend
8
New Mountain West Commissioner Nevarez gives nod to former ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez ... New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez discusses her new job in an ever-evolving college athletics landscape.
9
Talking Grammer, Ep. 59: MWC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez
ABQnews Seeker
In Episode 59 of the podcast, ... In Episode 59 of the podcast, we had a conversation with new Mountain West Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez.