Nishad Abdul Rahman, MD; Kayla Guidry, MD; Elizabeth Danielle Brining, MD; David Liu, MD; Ngunyi Sandra Leke-Tambo, MD; Adrian Antonio Cotarelo, MD; Miriam Kulkarni, MD; Norman Mok, MD; Raffaele Milizia, MD


Western J Emerg Med. 2022;23(2):129-133. 

In This Article



From March 9–July 1, 2020, there were 7791 total ED patients under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 at SJRH. Of these 7791 PUIs, 829 had positive COVID-19 swabs (10.6%). Notably, due to lack of testing availability, not all PUIs were swabbed for COVID-19, with some cases deemed to be suspicious for COVID-19 clinically by findings such as hypoxia, or by using radiographic signs such as ground-glass opacities on chest radiograph or chest computed tomography.


Of the total 7791 PUIs, 2038 patients were admitted to the hospital (26.2%), 5467 were discharged home from the ED (70.2%) and 2038 were admitted to the hospital. Among the latter, 1178 patients were ultimately discharged from their inpatient hospitalization (1178/2038, 68.2%).


Of the 2,038 PUIs who were admitted to the hospital, 153 died (overall inpatient PUI mortality of 7.5%). Of the total 7,791 PUIs, including those who did not test positive for COVID-19, there were 179 deaths (179/7,791, mortality rate among all PUIs of 2.2%). There were 26 PUIs who died before being admitted to the hospital (26/7,791, 0.3%). Of the 829 PUIs who were found to be COVID-19 positive, 168 patients died (168/829, mortality rate among COVID-19 positive PUIs of 20.2%).


Our mortality data does not include the 222 patients (222/7,791, 2.8%) who were transferred to other facilities. Of those 222 patients, 128 were transferred during their ED visit (57.7%). An additional 94 admitted patients were transferred (94/222, 42.3%).

Surge Bed Capacity

Over the course of the pandemic, we improved our intensive care unit (ICU) capacity from an initial 12 beds to 55 ICU beds, an increase of over 450% from our usual critical care capacity (55/12, 458.3%). These beds were created using areas that had previously served as the ambulatory surgery unit (ASU), post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), and endoscopy suite (ENDO). Furthermore, we had more ventilated patients than ever, with as many as 65 ventilated patients within our hospital at peak including the ED, PACU, ASU, ENDO, and main ICU.

A total of 130 employees tested positive for COVID-19.