CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Local doctors say the crowded hospitals are just as bad as they were with the first wave of COVID-19 -- if not worse.
“We got through the pandemic the first time -- we rallied through," said Physician's PremiER Dr. Candice Cardon. "And this time around, people are just tired. You know, we’re tired, we’re exhausted, we’re overwhelmed, and unfortunately we just don’t see an end in sight.”
These freestanding emergency rooms have seen their patient numbers triple. Cardon says they cannot find anyone to take patients in surrounding cities and states. Typically, they would be able to send patients to hospitals quickly, but recently, they’ve had to take care of patients for days on end.
As far as supplies go, Cardon says her ER uses oxygen quickly due to the COVID-19 cases.
Last year, clinics and medical centers received supplies, FEMA nurses, and mobile hospitals to help unburden local health systems.
City of Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez says it is time for the state to help out.
“In this wave we’re not getting any help yet," she said. "Maybe we will, but right now, we’re not getting any help. That’s the problem."
CHRISTUS Spohn Health System officials said portions of its hospitals have been converted specifically to care for COVID-19 patients.
“Our frontline workers continue to bravely and compassionately care for these patients — along with those who need care for other conditions — in our hospitals,” said President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Osbert Blow.
In a statement, Corpus Christi Medical Center said it has recently hired more than 150 nurses, and expects to on-board many new nurses by the end of this year.
The Texas Health and Human Services Senate Committee will be meeting Tuesday to discuss the status of staffing in hospitals.