7 hospitals setting up overflow tents amid flu, RSV surges

As flu and respiratory syncytial virus cases surge across the nation, some hospitals are hitting capacity, setting up overflow units and tents to meet patient demand.

Below are seven hospitals that have recently set up overflow tents.

Editor's note: This list is not exhaustive.

Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora has set up a tent to treat lower acuity patients when the emergency department is full, The Denver Post reported Nov. 4. The hospital has also delayed some nonemergent procedures, converted flexible space to fit more beds and hired short-term staff to manage an influx of patients, according to Kevin Carney, MD, the hospital's associate chief medical officer. 

Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas, Calif., Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health in La Jolla, Calif., and Sharp Grossmont Hospital in Mesa, Calif., are all using overflow tents to handle a surge in flu patients. California is among nine states and regions that reported high flu activity for the week ending Nov. 5.

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh set up a tent outside of its emergency department to reduce strain on the emergency department and help staff evaluate more children sooner amid a surge in patients with respiratory illnesses. The tent can fit up to 10 patients. 

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta erected a tent in the parking lot of its emergency room in October after seeing an "unprecedented" number of sick children, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco set up a tent that holds seven beds to treat patients with lower acuity conditions, such as sprains or an earache, Chief Medical Officer Joan Zoltansky, MD, told ABC 7 San Francisco in a Nov. 22 report.

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