How Madera Community Hospital is coping with a 117% surge in ER admittance

'This is our new normal.'
MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Madera Community Hospital is filling up fast.

Health officials tell Action News the rate of patients being admitted into their facility from their emergency rooms is up more than 117% from last month.

That's why the hospital is getting help from the state to increase their staffing for yet another surge looming and to maintain their hospital capacity.

The hospital has 10 ICU beds, 8 of them have COVID-19 patients.

As the only adult acute care hospital in the county, officials feel the pressure to deliver for the community.

Madera Community Hospital's Chief Nursing Officer Mark Brown says they have to have a crisis plan in place in case just in case the situation worsens.

"We have contingency plans laid out, staffing, beds, equipment, and everything. We don't ever want to get there," Brown says.

While 25% of the patients that come to the ER come by ambulance, the service in Madera has assessed and referred 48 patients at home, helping out the ER.

"That's what we see - the volume is down 10%, which helps us out tremendously because our COVID volume is up more and more as people did social gatherings around Christmas and it happened around New Year's," Brown says.

A busy ER means a busy staff.

Brown says one way is to keep the morale up the workers is by simply expressing gratitude.

"People get tired, our staff gets sick, our staff gets exposed to everything when it comes to that. Letting them know the small little things that they are appreciated...meals that the community buys for us. Those things build up morale, those things are what keep the staff going," says Brown.

Without frontline workers amid a pandemic, Brown says he expects things will be like this.

"For the foreseeable future, until all the vaccines get out there for everybody, this is our new normal."
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