EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – As hospitalizations in El Paso continue to rise, El Paso hospital patients will have the option to be airlifted to other Texas hospitals.
A statement sent to KTSM from the University Medical Center of El Paso says the option will be strictly voluntary.
“Despite the local health care providers working to expand capacity, the BorderRAC in collaboration with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council is coordinating to have the option of airlifting patients requiring critical care to other facilities within Texas. This will be a strictly voluntary decision by the patients and arrangements will be made to bring all patients home to El Paso,” the statement from University Medical Center read.
The statement explains that it is an option that can be used but on a limited basis but 20 patients can be airlifted in a 24 hour period if need be.
Officials added that the State of Texas is also sending three to four medical mobile units, along with staff and equipment to El Paso. UMC said it will be getting one or two of those tents and they will be set up behind UMC’smain campus. 17 to 20 patients can be in one of those tents at a time.
“Over the last several weeks, local hospitals have increased their bed capacity. As those beds are made available, they are filled,” a news release said. “Hospitals are reaching a point where they have expanded, within their existing brick and mortar, as much as they can,” the statement read.
The statement also explained that according to Border Rac, hospitalizations at UMC have doubled in four days. UMC added that the state sent more staff to help but the hospital is requesting 100 more nurses through Border Rac
The statement also shows the increase in hospitalized patients just on Saturday with a total of 778 patients hospitalized in El Paso. According to the City of El Paso, that number was 715 Saturday morning.