Queen’s Medical Center West O’ahu Declares “Internal State of Emergency”
The Queen’s Medical Center – West O’ahu declared an “internal state of emergency,” with all 104 beds at the hospital filled. Jason Chang, chief operating officer with Queen’s Health Systems spoke at a press conference carried on all major networks on Friday afternoon saying that means that “all hands are on deck.”
According to Chang, the Emergency department saw 63 patients at one point in time. About 26 were COVID-19 patients. “And that’s a crisis because that emergency department has 24 beds. So 63 makes it very tough for us to provide the right amount of care,” he said.
The sickest patients were being sent to Punchbowl and some staff were brought in to the West O’ahu campus for Friday and Saturday.
Hospital administrators said that they are not closed, and still want heart attack and stroke patients to show up if they are in need. However, those with mild illness that could be treated through urgent care were encouraged to do so.
The Island Urgent Care is located close by, and an after-hours clinic that is located on campus. The City and County of Honolulu also set up a field tent that Chang said is going to help the hospital “alleviate and triage the patients that are not being able to be treated inside that are low acuity.”
“We are doing everything we can at this point, but I do want to enforce that this has been a preventable situation,” said Chang, as he urged vaccinations and asked the public to refrain from socializing. “The number of new positive cases is just increasingly high and we’re worried about that because it translates to more patients that are going to need emergency care in the hospitals. And between all the normal emergencies and the COVID cases, it’s overwhelming our system.”
The news comes as Hawai‘i deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases with 845 additional cases in Hawai‘i on Friday. The latest data represents an average of nearly 700 cases per day for the state over the past seven days, and nearly 9,200 cases over two weeks.