2 New Mexico hospitals operating above 120% capacity

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Two prominent Albuquerque, N.M.-based hospitals are operating significantly over capacity, with University of New Mexico Hospital at 140 percent capacity and Presbyterian Hospital at 120 percent, Fox affiliate KRQE reported Nov. 30. 

"Not only are we using every normal bed that is available to us but we are also using parts of the hospital to care for patients that are not normally used for inpatient care," Rohini McKee, MD, a colorectal surgery specialist at UNM Hospital, told NBC affiliate KOB.

In October, New Mexico announced the addition of a public health order permitting hospitals to engage crisis standards of care. On Nov. 11, Presbyterian Healthcare Services and University of New Mexico Health activated crisis standards of care for their Albuquerque metro hospitals. Representatives from both Presbyterian and UNMH said they haven't deallocated or rationed care for any patients yet, according to KRQE.

"We run much higher than our licensed capacity as well and we brought in over 500 nurses to staff every bed," Jason Mitchell, MD, CMO and clinical transformation officer at Presbyterian Healthcare Services, told KRQE. "There are no empty beds at Presbyterian."

There are about 220 COVID-19 patients at the Albuquerque Presbyterian hospital, accounting for about 28 percent of the total hospital patient population, Dr. Mitchell said Nov. 30. Two weeks ago, COVID-19 patients represented about 20 percent of total patients. Dr. Mitchell said about 85 percent of the hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. 

As of Dec. 1, the rate of new daily COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Mexico has climbed 13 percent over the last two weeks, according to The New York Times.


On Nov. 29, the state reported 572 COVID-19 hospitalizations. At a Nov. 11 news conference, Dr. Mitchell said projections indicate nearly 700 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide around the first week of December. Last December, New Mexico reached peak hospitalizations, with more than 900 COVID-19 patients.   


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