NYC Health and Hospitals Prepare for Possible Second Wave of COVID-19 Hospitalizations – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Doctors in the New York health system and hospitals say they are better prepared to treat patients if a second wave of coronavirus hits the city.CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas got a glimpse of changes inside Bellevue Hospital to better manage an influx of patients.

To comply with hospital rules, Cline-Thomas could only enter inside herself and capture the upgrades on her cell phone.


New York City Health and Hospitals Bellevue is a far cry from the dark days of the pandemic, but it is not yet a distant memory.

“Last time around, we were concerned about COVID versus no. This time around, we have to worry about COVID versus no, flu versus no, COVID and flu together, and neither. And we have to keep these four groups separate, ”said Dr. Amit Uppal, director of intensive care at NYC Health and Hospital / Bellevue.

Uppal provided a guided tour, showing how a unit that is not currently treating COVID patients can now be easily transformed into an intensive care unit.

“What can this room do now that it couldn’t do before?” Cline-Thomas asked.

“So having an infected patient in that room meant everyone had to be under precaution the entire time they were in this unit,” Uppal said.

Cameras installed in some rooms at Bellevue Hospital help minimize unnecessary exposure. (Credit: CBS2)

This is why glass doors have been installed and provide a seal to minimize the spread of infections and also allow doctors to monitor patients from the hallway.

Turn a dial and the contaminated air in the room is filtered, letting only fresh air in. Cameras installed in some rooms help minimize unnecessary exposure.

Rooms no longer share plumbing or electricity for life saving equipment, some of which can be monitored at the nurses’ station.

Similar improvements can be found in the healthcare and hospital system.

“We have quadrupled the intensive care space in some of our facilities, tripled everywhere else,” said Quality Manager Dr Eric Wei.

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This time around, the course of COVID treatment may also be different, especially when it comes to using ventilators.

“We had to learn a lot while taking care of the patients,” Uppal said. “I think we understand his background much better. Now we know what to look for. ”

RELATED STORY: Long COVID Carriers Still Suffering Long-Term Effects from Virus Months Later

When it comes to ventilators and PPE, the health and hospital system says it has more than three months of supply depending on what was needed at the height of the pandemic.

“We feel in good shape. Also be aware that the town hall has its own stock in case the hospitals run out, ”Wei said.

With the increase in COVID cases in the city, hospitals are better prepared for the worst-case scenario, but they don’t expect to relive this nightmare.

Health and Hospitals did not provide a specific price tag for all upgrades, but said it expects to be reimbursed by a FEMA grant intended for COVID costs.


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