The last pandemic surge of this severity and clinical acuity was over 100 years ago, long before the development of modern medicine, including intensive care units and ventilators. To our knowledge, there are no current reports that address the changes necessary for a US community hospital experiencing a pandemic surge. Our institution's experience through the pandemic as a community site at a major national epicenter provides a vital perspective on the future of pandemic response, as well as the present COVID-19 crisis.
We advise community institutions to increase critical care staffing in accordance with patient volume, create overflow critical care units, evaluate their HVAC systems, establish screening zones, use available resident physicians in the ED and ICUs, and secure supply chain for PPE and critical care supplies.
Western J Emerg Med. 2022;23(2):129-133. © 2022 Western Journal of Emergency Medicine