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San Antonio Hospital System Is Nearing Its Capacity. What Now?

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/3f6T27S

San Antonio hospitals are filling up, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the city is within a week of reaching full capacity.

The hospital system has been under high stress since last month, and the number of staffed hospital beds has been lower in the past few days than it has been since the public health crisis began.

The City requested more than 800 nurses from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Department of Defense, and several hundred arrived in San Antonio last week. In addition to the Bexar County residents that require assistance in local hospitals, other counties rely on San Antonio facilities for treatment and intensive care.

How will San Antonio recuperate from this flood of hospitalizations? What does it mean for a hospital to reach full capacity?

What kind of decisions are being made to ensure all patients are treated equitably? How is this influx of COVID patients affecting hospital staff?

The city has opened up other venues as potential alternate care centers, including Freeman Coliseum. At what point will health officials begin to use those additional centers? 

Guest: Dr. Ralph Riviello, chairman of emergency medicine in the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and chief of the emergency department at University Hospital

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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, July 8.

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Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon