Space is scarce at TMC as COVID’s third wave hits

Doctors predict another spike in cases after Thanksgiving
Tucson Medical Center currently has room and is prepared for any future influx of patients.
Tucson Medical Center currently has room and is prepared for any future influx of patients.(KOLD News 13)
Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 7:18 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, many of us would like a normal holiday after the year we’ve experienced.

But one local hospital warns gathering together this holiday could cost you.

As of Sunday night, Nov. 22, Tucson Medical Center only has one open ICU bed.

Officials say that number is pretty fluid, while only one is open at this moment, three more could open in the next two hours.

But this is a huge issue if cases continue to rise at the rapid pace we’re currently seeing.

Dr. Cliff Martin, the Chief of Medical Staff says the good news is TMC has enough supplies on hand and doctors have several months of experience.

This time around though they’re at least prepared with PPE and several months of experience.

Martin said these two factors will allow doctors to treat patients faster and better than before.

At this time, doctors know which drugs work, and which don’t, hospitals have the appropriate policies and procedures to keep patients and employees safe, plus they finally have a supply of PPE.

But for the coming holiday, Martin warns people do need to take the threat seriously.

“The fact that we’re seeing this increase in the community and our city doesn’t look dramatically under siege is falsely reassuring. The ICU capacity is potentially going to reach capacity if we don’t do the mitigation efforts, we need to keep it under control,” Martin said.

He added that no matter how many people test positive for the coronavirus in this third wave; TMC will see at least 5% of cases inside its medical center and possibly the ICU.

So, if we don’t play by the rules this Thanksgiving and cases drastically rise, the hospital could easily run out of space and supplies before Christmas.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.