SSM St. Anthony preparing for surges in COVID-19 patients

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – SSM St. Anthony hospital is preparing for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients with overflow tents.  

“We hope that we don’t ever have to use the tent,” said Dr. Chad Borin, Medical Director of Emergency Medicine Services.

Dr. Borin says based on current models, he expects the hospital will see another surge in patients.  

“We’re concerned that in the next two to four weeks, that the number of patients presenting for emergency department care is gonna rise,” he said.  

The entire state is already experiencing record numbers with more than 1,700 patients currently hospitalized.

At St. Anthony, COVID-19 patients have filled hospital beds. The hospital has exceeded its capacity daily.  

Dr. Borin says the hospital’s capacity is around 68 patients, but there are currently 88 patients.  

“When that happens, we run out of capacity to see other emergency department patients,” said Dr. Borin.  

He says the decision to open the tents hasn’t been made yet, and will only be made once the emergency room is no longer able to see patients in a timely manner.

“If you see a tent erected, don’t fear. Please, if you’re having a medical illness or experiencing an emergency, please come in,” said Dr. Borin.  

He stresses that everyone who needs emergency care should still come to the hospital.  

The hospital is also experiencing the struggle of a statewide nursing shortage.  

Dr. Borin says a couple weeks ago, many nurses were out due to COVID-19.  

“Approximately 80 to 90 nurses out with COVID or in quarantine from COVID, so that’s very difficult to deal with… It never goes away for us. We’re here every day,” said Dr. Borin.  

Dr. Borin says healthcare workers are very much still in the fight.

“We’re in the limelight. We’re in this battle every single day and my heart and prayer go out to all the healthcare providers in our great city and our great state who are taking care of these COVID patients.”

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