'It's apocalyptic:' Doctors on the front lines of one of NYC's hardest-hit hospitals describe treating coronavirus patients with limited resources
- Doctors at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, described being overwhelmed by a surge of patients as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the state.
- According to The New York Times, Elmhurst Hospital is struggling to treat patients with a limited number of ventilators. Some have died waiting for empty beds.
- "It's apocalyptic," a 27-year-old medic told The Times.
- As of Wednesday evening, New York had over 33,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 366 deaths.
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Doctors at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York City, have described the battle against the novel coronavirus as "apocalyptic," and said that some patients have died waiting to receive treatment at the crowded facility.According to The New York Times, the 545-bed public hospital has been overwhelmed by patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.Advertisement
As of Wednesday evening, New York had over 33,000 confirmed coronavirus cases - more than the entire nation of France - and 366 deaths.
At least 280 of those deaths occurred in New York City, which now accounts for 60% of new COVID-19 cases in the US.According to The Times, doctors at Elmhurst are struggling to treat patients with a limited number of ventilators, the machine needed to keep severe COVID-19 patients alive. Some have died in the emergency room waiting for empty beds, the Times said.
"It's apocalyptic," a 27-year-old general medicine resident at Elmhurst told The Times.
Experts have warned that the US faces a shortage of critical supplies in the months ahead as the number of cases continues to grow
One estimated that about a million Americans may need ventilator treatment during the coronavirus outbreak, straining the country's resources even if all those cases do not overlap.
Beyond respirators, the hospital is also facing a mounting body count and limited capacity to store them.
New York City's public hospital system said in a statement that 13 people died at Elmhurst Hospital within 24 hours and that the hospital was now "at the center of this crisis."According to The Times, a refrigerated truck has been stationed outside the hospital to hold dead bodies.Advertisement
Photos from outside Elmhurst show long lines of people waiting to be tested. According to The Times, people begin lining up to be tested as early as 6 a.m.Elmhurst Hospital and NYC Health + Hospitals did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. Advertisement
This week, President Donald Trump announced new measures to help New York expand its healthcare capacity, including deploying a 1,000-bed US Navy hospital ship.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that more than 620 patients with COVID-29 have ended up in ICUs around the state. Beds may soon fill up as the number of confirmed cases in New York City continues to grow. "We have several floors now that are devoted only to COVID-positive patients," Dr. Ben McVane, an emergency room doctor at Elmhurst Hospital, told ABC 7 New York on Wednesday.Advertisement
"We're finding ourselves getting close to being overwhelmed by patients."
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