The Elmhurst Hospital in New York is at a breaking point in the middle of the coronavirus crisis – 13 patients died there in 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday.
The number of deaths recorded at the Queens facility between Tuesday and Wednesday was “consistent with the number of intensive care patients treated there,” a spokesman for the city’s hospital systems said in a statement.
“Elmhurst is at the center of this crisis,” said Christopher Miller. “It is the number one priority in our public hospital system right now.”
“The staff are doing everything in their power to save everyone who contracts COVID-19,” said Miller.
“But unfortunately, this virus continues to take a particularly terrible toll on the elderly and those suffering from pre-existing diseases.”
Authorities say the 545-bed hospital is overrun and in desperate need of supplies.
It currently operates at more than 125% of its capacity, compared to its typical capacity rate of 80%, a source told Patch, who first reported that the hospital was overwhelmed.
“It’s like working in a field hospital in the middle of a war zone,” an emergency nurse told the Post.
“New patients are lined up at the doors and there are not enough beds to accommodate them. The equipment is depleted faster than we can replenish it. I have never seen anything like it. “
According to at the New York Times, some people died inside the emergency room while waiting for a bed.
“It’s apocalyptic,” Dr. Ashley Bray told the newspaper.
Earlier this week, dozens of people were seen aligned outside the hospital just to get tested for coronavirus.
These lines are “just an indication of the overflow and lack of capacity,” city councilor Francisco Moya, D-Queens, told The Post.
“They are inundated,” said Moya, born in the hospital, who worked there in development and represents the neighborhood in which she is located.
In the past 24 hours, Elmhurst has added 25 staff from other hospitals, as well as a number of ventilators, Moya said. On Monday, city councilor and Jonathan Krane, co-founder of the next Queensboro FC football team, delivered 1,000 face masks to the hospital.
But the facility will need much more help to support itself amid an increase in the number of patients with coronavirus.
Queens has been hit hard by the pandemic and accounts for about a third of the cases of Big Apple, 6420 as of Wednesday, according to city data.
About 30% of the Big Apple cases are residents of Queens, 5,066 as of Wednesday, according to data from the city’s Department of Health.
Elmhurst employees on the front line “are doing a wonderful job with the limited resources available to them,” said Moya – but the hospital is “at a critical stage.”
“They will not be able to survive,” said Moya. “The relief has to be there for the doctors and the nurses. And quickly. “