According to a report from Las Vegas Sun, the Southern Nevada Health District’s (SNHD’s) ambulance service in Las Vegas has effectively managed the burden of the current COVID-19 crisis, a stark contrast to neighboring California.
John Hammond, emergency medical services (EMS) and trauma system manager for the SNHD, who oversees and directs protocols for all EMS providers in the region, said that hospitals and EMS agencies have not indicated that they cannot continue operations.
Recently, parts of California have seen its intensive care units (ICUs) fill up completely. Earlier this month, Los Angeles County officials directed ambulance crews to cease transporting patients to hospitals if they have a low chance of survival.
University Medical Center (UMC) spokesman Scott Kerbs said that the hospital’s overall volume of COVID-19-related admissions has stabilized in recent weeks, and the hospital remains fully prepared for any potential postholiday surge. He also noted that UMC has comprehensive surge plans in place to significantly expand its bed count in case of any future increase in patient volume.
According to the Nevada Hospital Association, licensed beds in Clark County hospitals were at 94-percent capacity as of Tuesday, with ICUs 82-percent full. COVID-19 patients represented 56 percent of intensive care and 34 percent of the total number of patients.
On Wednesday, the SNHD reported 737 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the total number of Clark County’s cases over 194,000. The district reported 42 more deaths, bringing the area’s total to 2,716.
Statewide, health officials have counted nearly 254,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,500 deaths.