Northwest Texas Hospital helping other hospitals during Texas coronavirus surge

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Even as COVID-19 cases increase in our area, Northwest Texas Hospital said it is trying to help other Texas hospitals.

Chief Medical Officer at Northwest Texas Hospital (NWTH), Dr. Brian Weis, confirmed they have received an intubated COVID-19 patient from the Rio Grande Valley area. He said theirs was the closest hospital with enough capacity to admit the patient for care.

That is not all NWTH is doing for hospitals in South Texas. They are also trying to meet requests for PPE and equipment, including CPAP machines, bypass machines, and ventilators.

Dr. Weis said, “We are starting to see…Southern Texas hospitals, now relying on some of us up here for help and assistance in just that the overwhelming number of virus cases they have there.”

He said Northwest had fewer than half of their ventilators in use as of Wednesday.

“You know, this morning, we actually had a couple of patients waiting in our emergency room for beds to open up in our medical ICU,” Dr. Weis said during Wednesday’s City of Amarillo COVID-19 briefing.

While they have not invoked surge capacity, they are starting to butt up against some limitations in terms of routine capacity, according to Dr. Weis.

Dr. Weis said as long as they are able, NWTH has told South Texas hospitals they are willing to take patients if they cannot accommodate them.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Texas recorded 10,291 new cases on Thursday, July 16. DSHS data also show 10,457 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients are currently in Texas hospitals.

Dr. Weis said some Dallas hospitals are already stopping elective surgeries, but that will be the last step at NWTH.

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