Stamford Advocate

Patients in hospital halls amid COVID rationed care


Amid the Idaho coronaviru­s surge that prompted officials to authorize hospitals to ration health care, Army soldiers sent to one hospital have traded their fatigues for personal protective equipment to help treat a flood of infected patients.

The conference center at Kootenai Health hospital in the city Coeur d’Alene has been converted into a field hospital of sorts - with some of its classrooms filled with hospital beds where patients receive oxygen or get monoclonal antibody treatment, hospital officials said.

At the nearby main hospital building in the city of about 50,000, some emergency room patients receive care in a converted lobby and others get it in hallways. Urgent surgeries have been put on hold and some patients in critical condition are facing long waits for intensive care beds.

The overwhelme­d hospital is at the epicenter of a coronaviru­s crisis for the northern part of the state - and where state officials this week authorized “crisis standards of care” status.

That allowed Kootenai Health, where an entire floor has been turned into a makeshift COVID-19 unit, and other hospitals in the region to ration health care during the surge.

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