Texas hospital overwhelmed by the coronavirus may send some patients home to die
A hospital in Starr County, Texas, is so overrun with coronavirus cases that officials there said it would choose which patients to use its resources on and send those most likely to die back home to their families.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Dr. Jose Vasquez — the health authority for Starr County — said the county was creating guidelines to help health workers decide how to use resources on patients with the best chance of survival.
Vasquez added that a committee would decide which patients were most likely to die at Starr County Memorial Hospital — the only hospital in the county — and would send them home.
“The situation is desperate,” he said Tuesday. “We cannot continue functioning in the Starr County Memorial Hospital nor in our county in the way that things are going. The numbers are staggering.”
Vasquez said the county sends coronavirus patients daily to other parts of Texas and to other states, but that hospitals in both Texas and nearby states were now overwhelmed.
There is nowhere to put these patients,’ hospital president Dr Jose Vazquez told the media on Tuesday, according to Border Report.
‘The whole state of Texas and neighboring states have no ICU beds to spare for us.’
Vazquez said there will be an ethics committee and a triage committee to review each case.
‘End-of-life decisions and hospice decisions and comfort-care situation for all those patients who most certainly do not have any hope of improving we believe they will be better taken care in the love of their own family and home rather than thousands of miles away dying alone,’ he said.
Starr County, home to about 64,000 people, currently has 1,700 confirmed cases of the virus cases and 17 deaths.
While the absolute number seems small, the county has been reporting 92 cases per 100,000 people every day for the past week.