UM hospitals in Prince George’s declare emergency – NBC4 Washington



The University of Maryland Capital Region Health says it is moving three Prince George health centers to crisis care standards amid rising COVID-19 cases and staff shortages.

UM Capital Region Medical Center, UM Bowie Health Center and UM Laurel Medical Center Emergency Department declared a hospital emergency on Friday, according to a press release.

Hospitals will implement Crisis Care Standards (CSCs) to “enable UM Capital to care for the growing number of patients in the safest and most efficient manner during this crisis,” the statement said.

As part of CSC, hospitals can reassign staff, postpone surgeries, and change required patient-to-staff ratios.

UM Capital’s vice president and deputy medical director said in a statement that going into crisis mode is a necessary step.

“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly and it is a decision that was made after exhausting all other avenues to resolve the issues that challenge our operations,” said Hall.

UM Capital Region Medical Center, the county’s only trauma center and serving all of southern Maryland, was in traumatic bypass surgery for more than three hours overnight between December 31 and January 1, according to data from the Maryland Hospital.

Trauma patients had to be redirected to DC and Montgomery County. This happened because there have been several serious car crashes and several shootings, in addition to the wave of COVID-19 patients.

The Prince George County Fire Department / EMS told News4 that crews wait an average of an hour and 19 minutes at all county hospitals to drop off patients, straining already depleted EMS resources.

The average weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 22% over the past week in Prince George County, according to government data.

The UM Capital Region Medical Center opened in June and within weeks complaints were filed about long wait times in the emergency room and understaffing, reported Tracee Wilkins , Prince George County Bureau Chief.

UM Capital Region Health joins several hospitals in Maryland that recently declared CSC, including Luminis Health Network and Baltimore Washington Hospital Center.

The University of Maryland’s Charles Regional Medical Center entered CSC this week and officials said staff shortages played a significant role.

Staff there fell 40%, William Grimes, vice president of ancillary services at the hospital, told News4.

Maryland has previously called on hospitals to suspend elective surgeries and take other measures after COVID-19-related hospitalizations hit an all-time high this week.

The Maryland Hospital Association this week asked Governor Larry Hogan to declare a limited public health emergency to give hospitals more flexibility on Wednesday. At the time, four hospitals were in crisis with standards of care.

Tom Lynch of News4 contributed to this report.



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