MUSC using surge capacity space, developing plans for possible staff sharing, field hospital


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – MUSC on Monday reported that they added approximately 150 extra beds, using “recently vacated critical care space in the old Children’s Hospital…as well as ICU space in Ashley River Tower.”

MUSC did not say whether the additional space will be used to treat COVID-19 patients, or other patients.

As of Monday, MUSC reports 108 inpatient COVID-19 cases at the Charleston facility, 33 of whom are in intensive care. 18.5% of all COVID-19 inpatients are on ventilator care.

As hospitals across the area experience an uptick in COVID-19 patients, adjustments are being made to ensure the health care system does not become overwhelmed. Some hospitals have gone so far as to suspend elective surgeries.

MUSC and other local healthcare facilities are currently discussing plans to “transfer patients to open beds in other facilities as needed.” It is also working with “other academic medical centers around the country to develop plans for possible staff-sharing agreements.”

Previously, MUSC, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the SC National Guard developed plans for a field hospital to house non-critical COVID-19 patients.

In April, a 250-bed field hospital was set up at the MUSC fitness center, but it was later taken down due to lack of use.

While MUSC says that a request has not been made at this time, a similar such facility could be established once again if necessary.

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