GMH exceeds capacity, patients overflow, beds set up at curbside

The patients upsurge has prompted GMH to set up beds at the curbside in front the ER Department. Contributed photo

With Covid-19 hospitalizations surging and daily positive cases hitting all-time highs, the coronavirus crisis is pushing the island’s fragile health care system to its limit and causing the 198-bed Guam Memorial Hospital to exceed capacity.

Covid-19 admissions at GMH have increased from 70 to 78 overnight, with 15 in ICU and five on ventilators, according to the Joint Information Center’s latest statistics released today. The JIC figures do not include patients, who are admitted to the hospital for non-Covid related ailments.

The patients upsurge has prompted GMH to create a makeshift receiving area at the curbside in front the ER Department behind the hospital buiding, where about half a dozen beds have been set up for incoming patients.

“It’s overwhelming. This has been going on since last week. We are holding patients in ER and there are no more rooms at all,” said a midlevel GMH official, who requested not to be named. “We had to put some beds outside because we don’t want the medics to be stuck there. Hopefully, we don’t get to a point where we have to treat patients outside."