Coronavirus patients may be airlifted from Arizona to New Mexico for care

COVID-19 patients from Northern Arizona and the Navajo Nation soon may be airlifted to New Mexico for care, after health officials expressed concerns that the major hospital in the Flagstaff, Ariz., area has reached its capacity, according to AZCentral.com.

Flagstaff Medical Center is bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Arizona as cases in the area skyrocket. The Navajo Nation has been hit particularly hard, with 1,197 coronavirus cases as of April 18, and nearly 60 percent of those cases were in Arizona.

Flo Spyrow, CEO ofFlagstaff-based Northern Arizona Healthcare, Flagstaff Medical Center's parent, previously told AZCentral.com: "We have not seen a flattening of the curve. The patients coming from the reservation are very, very ill, and they need the support of our intensivists and larger critical care teams at Flagstaff Medical Center."

The parking lot of a football stadium in Albuquerque, N.M., has been converted into a helipad to facilitate the transfer of patients from Flagstaff. Albuquerque-based Presbyterian Hospital will primarily use the landing pad.

Patients may be airlifted into New Mexico as early as the night of April 26, AZCentral.com reports.

More articles on patient flow:
Integris halts inpatient services at Oklahoma hospital campus
Kaiser, Dignity partner with California to open Los Angeles Surge Hospital
Updated COVID-19 projections are out: The new peak dates in each state

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