Pampa Regional Medical Center offered care to patients from all across Texas during COVID-19 surge

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PAMPA, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Pampa Regional Medical Center said they were well-prepared to welcome in patients during the surge of COVID-19 cases in late 2020.

“I think that’s why it wasn’t so chaotic because we had planned and practiced,” said Twilla Thomas, Pampa Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer.

Thomas said planning and practice helped them prepare for the surge of COVID-19 cases late last year.

“Local area hospitals were having difficulty getting their transfers into Lubbock and to Amarillo because hospitals had that full surge capacity over there. The RAC had formed a transfer team and of course they were reaching out to us to accept the transfers from other smaller hospitals,” said Thomas.

Covid and non-covid patients were being referred to the PRMC for care from all over the state including Dallas, Austin and Boling which is over 600 miles away.

Thomas said they were able to control the situation because they had prepared to receive patients as early as April of last year.

“Once the surge started, our biggest need was for staffing, that’s when the FEMA stuff was brought in but our biggest asset was human capital and that’s where the RAC stepped in along with the nurses and with respiratory therapy,” said Thomas.

Thomas said they hired a locum surgeon to help out after hearing a case from a hospital where a patient died in their emergency room after not being able to find a transfer.

“We knew it would cost us a lot to get a locum surgeon in here but we went ahead and did that. So we were able to take surgery cases from the other smaller areas. Whether it would be this hospital or the small rural hospitals around there. These communities need these rural hospitals,” said Thomas.

Some of the other cities they treated patients from include League City, San Angelo and Ft. Worth.

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