BULLHEAD CITY — There is a lot of misinformation going around, thanks to social media. Our community is being hit especially hard these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We sat down with Dr. Waheed Zehri, chief of staff at Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, to discuss the COVID-19 surge and to answer questions.
What is the backup plan as the hospitals are becoming full — or are already full? But what happens when all the Bullhead City-area hospitals are at capacity?
KRMC (Kingman Regional Medical Center) is getting patients from Yuma. They got 15 in one day. We are going to run out here too. When we started this Pandemic in February, we got all the direction from the Governor. We started an incident command at WARMC. One of the preparations was to cut down the regular, unnecessary admissions. We were trying to keep the space in the hospital for COVID patients. Number two we were trying to plan for a backup plan to make sure we had extra beds. All the hospitals all over the country, increased capacity 25%. Also, increase the ICU beds.
We have an ICU with 20 beds and another with 12 beds. In preparation for COVID-19, we have another ICU that is closed right now, that has another 8 beds. We opened that ICU and if necessary, it is ready to use. We have the highest number of ICU beds available in Mohave County if we would need it. Then if we need more, we figured we could put at least 12 patients in the OR recovery area.
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