LA County Hospitals Divert Emergency Sufferers As COVID Circumstances Surge – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – State officials are dispatched to Los Angeles County hospitals because the authorities call emergency rooms “overflow conditions”.

PPE docking area in front of a surge tent for COVID-19 patients at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California on December 18, 2020. (Getty Images)

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that a support team will be headed to Southern California after 96% of hospitals in the county at some point over the weekend diverted emergency patients for overcrowding in emergency rooms.

About 96% of the county hospitals were diverted at some point on Saturday, compared to 33% before the surge, the governor said.

“As cases remain at alarming levels, hundreds more people are likely to die.” said the county health director Barbara Ferrer.

Dr. Los Angeles county health services director Christina Ghaly says an estimated half of all currently occupied hospital beds in LA County and two-thirds of occupied ICU beds are filled with COVID-19 patients.

“It’s total chaos,” Tanya West, a nurse at a Covina hospital, told CBSLA on Monday. “Nurses are running around, two patients in a room built for only one patient, with no proper safety equipment. Patients waiting in ambulance outside the hospital. “

On Sunday, five local hospitals struggling to secure oxygen went to “internal disaster” status, diverting all emergency medical traffic to other facilities.

“We’re running out of oxygen, it’s scary,” West said.

Some hospitals that are limited in space use conference rooms and gift shops to treat patients, Ghaly said.

As of Monday morning, 617 hospital beds were available nationwide, in addition to 54 intensive care beds, about half of which are pediatric beds.

On average, hospitals spent about 16 hours a day on diversions, which slowed routine emergency care, Newsom said.

As of Monday, the state of LA County officially listed nearly 7,200 COVID-positive patients in hospitals, including more than 1,400 in intensive care.

Newsom said new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 have plateaued across the state except Southern California.

LA County reported an additional 73 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, bringing the county’s death toll to 9,555. The county also recorded 13,661 new cases, bringing the total to 733,325.

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