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  • 13 Deaths in a Day: An ‘Apocalyptic’ Coronavirus Surge at an N.Y.C. Hospital
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/nyregion/nyc-coronavirus-hospitals.html

    In several hours on Tuesday, Dr. Ashley Bray performed chest compressions at Elmhurst Hospital Center on a woman in her 80s, a man in his 60s and a 38-year-old who reminded the doctor of her fiancé. All had tested positive for the coronavirus and had gone into cardiac arrest. All eventually died.

    Elmhurst, a 545-bed public hospital in Queens, has begun transferring patients not suffering from coronavirus to other hospitals as it moves toward becoming dedicated entirely to the outbreak. Doctors and nurses have struggled to make do with a few dozen ventilators. Calls over a loudspeaker of “Team 700,” the code for when a patient is on the verge of death, come several times a shift. Some have died inside the emergency room while waiting for a bed.

    A refrigerated truck has been stationed outside to hold the bodies of the dead. Over the past 24 hours, New York City’s public hospital system said in a statement, 13 people at Elmhurst had died.

    “It’s apocalyptic,” said Dr. Bray, 27, a general medicine resident at the hospital.

    Across the city, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, hospitals are beginning to confront the kind of harrowing surge in cases that has overwhelmed health care systems in China, Italy and other countries. On Wednesday evening, New York City reported 20,011 confirmed cases and 280 deaths.

    • Coronavirus: London hospitals facing ’tsunami’ of patients
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/26/london-hospitals-facing-tsunami-of-coronavirus-patients-overwhelmed

      London hospitals are facing a “continuous tsunami” of coronavirus patients and some are likely to be overwhelmed in a few days, according to Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers – which represents hospital bosses.

      Hopson said hospitals had expanded critical care capacity between five and sevenfold in the last weeks, but chief executives have been alarmed by the speed at which beds are filling up in the capital.

      He said the problems had been exacerbated by medical staff off sick with suspected coronavirus or in vulnerable groups, with 30% to 50% not at work in some trusts.

      Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “They are struggling with the explosion of demand in seriously ill patients. They are saying it’s the number arriving and the speed with which they are arriving and how ill they are. They talk about wave after wave after wave. The words that are used to me are that it’s a continuous tsunami. As one said to me, it’s much bigger and large numbers with a greater degree of stretch than you can ever have possibly imagined.