New York City’s Elmhurst Hospital – the “ Epicenter of the Epicenter ” – is now receiving fewer patients, but they arrive sicker, the doctor warns, saying some enter without symptoms other than diarrhea and then test positive
- Dr. Eric Wei said that Elmhurst Hospital in Queens is taking fewer patients than last week, but they are sicker
- Now many arrive and immediately need ICU beds to help them cope
- He said that testing was surprising, and that some people show fever and cough, but test negative
- Others out there for various conditions – such as car accident victims – test positive
- The hospitals are one of 11 in the network of public hospitals in NYC
- Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced a plan to unify all public and private healthcare to spread the tax
- State nurses will arrive soon; once NYC hospitals are full, patients are expelled from the city
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
A doctor at the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens – the coronavirus ‘epicenter of the epicenter’ in New York City – said on Tuesday that fewer patients are entering, but those who do are more seriously ill.
Dr. Eric Wei, the vice president of the Health + Hospitals system in New York, spoke to Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference on Tuesday, where he said Elmhurst’s positive cases are surprising.
Patients come to the ER with a sore throat, painful chests, fever and cough, expecting to test positive but test negative, while others who come for other conditions accidentally test positive.
He gave the example of victims of car accidents being tested after going through CT scans that reveal pneumonia in their lungs.
Others have no symptoms other than diarrhea, he said.
Dr. Eric Wei, the vice president of New York City Health + Hospitals, said on Tuesday that Elmhurst Hospital in Queens received fewer patients but they were sicker. He spoke at the Queens complex where the US Open is being held – it will be a field hospital
A healthcare provider at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, on Monday, March 30
“I practiced emergency medicine and I couldn’t even imagine what this virus could do for people of all ages, people who were previously healthy,” he said.
“Elmhurst … everyone moves heaven and earth to do everything they can to take on an attack from patients.
“It has disappeared from the double number of people who come to the ER, the volume is low, but the people who come in are so much sicker and so much more critically ill with shortness of breath and respiratory failure.
“So we are seeing more and more IC patients,” he said.
It is unclear exactly how many patients have flooded Elmhurst’s ER in recent days.
A paramedic told it The New York Post that the number of calls they received had doubled and the ER had double capacity.
Another man said he had gone to hospital with a cough and gave up and went home because it took so long to be seen.
Elmhurst has been described as the “epicenter of the epicenter” of the New York City crisis.
The hospital was supplied with supplies four times in one day last week and sent nurses accompanying the truckload.
President Trump, who grew up close in Queens, got emotional discussing the situation there last week.
A hospital worker outside of Elmhurst Hospital, Queens, on March 31
A hospital worker outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center stops loading bodies in an improvised street morgue on Tuesday
It will be relieved of some of the unimaginable pressure it is experiencing, including through the new temporary field hospital set up in the Queens complex, where the US Open is held every year.
It will house 350 beds for non-critical coronavirus patients to be treated.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday that the center was one of many places in New York City that had offered help since the pandemic exploded.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has also talked about his plan to centralize the hospital system, removing the barriers to public or private access, trying to spread the burden of patients across the city.
Elmhurst is one of the 11 public hospitals in New York City.
They are under more pressure than private hospitals such as Lenox Hill or Columbia Presbyterian because they had fewer resources to work with before the pandemic attack.
The city is so overrun with hospital patients as a result of COVID-19 that improvised morgues are set up on the street.
The refrigerated trucks are outside the hospitals. Hospital workers have been loaded with bodies in recent days.
Other disturbing scenes in the city include the sights of the bodies of people removing the morgues in cardboard coffins.
Hospital workers who wear them all wear hazmat suits.