New Mexico hospitals near ‘tipping point’ as COVID-19 cases rise


“From a ventilator’s perspective, we feel comfortable,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We have the fans that we will need, that probably won’t be the limiting factor. Unfortunately, with the way this is going, we may not have doctors, nurses, or rooms even for these patients. ”

It’s a similar story at UNM Hospital. The facility has reached capacity, not primarily due to COVID-19 but other medical needs.

“The UNM Hospital has been operating at full capacity for at least two to three months,” said Dr. David Pitcher, Executive Physician for the UNM Health System and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. “Most of this has to do with the delay in seeking care due to the initial wave of COVID. There has not been as much demand for admissions for COVID-related illnesses.

COVID-positive patients accounted for less than 10% of all patient cases on Friday. Dr David Pitcher said on Friday there were less than 10 COVID-positive patients on ventilators. However, as the hospital is already at full capacity, they are starting to house patients in areas of surge.

“In the last week or so, and we’re paying a lot of attention to this, we’re also seeing an increase in the numbers among the elderly. It remains to be seen how this will translate into a demand for hospital beds and ventilators, but we are paying very close attention to this, ”said Dr Pitcher.

Lovelace health system officials did not provide KOB 4 with the number of COVID-positive patients treated. However, a spokesperson said that, like the UNM and the Presbyterian, they have a contingency plan in place.

“While at Lovelace we continue to see an increase in transfers statewide, we have capacity in our hospitals and are coordinating efforts across our system to ensure we are managing flow and access properly. patients. Our system has a contingency plan in place and is reviewing it for lessons learned and best practices. We monitor PPE, bed availability, pharmaceuticals, respiratory supplies and other items daily.

Lovelace and Presbyterian are in the process of revising the current guidelines for visitors and may issue revisions next week. UNM will now only accept visitors under special circumstances.


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