Belma Cruz, director of the Emergency Department at Matagorda Regional Medical Center, works with registered nurse Garrett Dodd to plan staffing for the hospital’s Emergency Department and ICU. With the hospital at capacity for weeks and staff falling ill, the hospital had to shuffle staffing to ensure each shift is covered.
Photo contributed by Matagorda Regional Medical Center
Belma Cruz, Emergency Department director, stands outside Matagorda Regional Medical Center’s ambulance entrance. “The community’s our family, because we live here,” said Cruz, who has worked at the hospital for 13 years.
A negative pressure room in the ICU at Matagorda Regional Medical Center. The "positive" sign indicates the patient inside tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital worked with local engineers, plumbers and electricians to convert a handful of rooms to negative pressure rooms during the pandemic.
BAY CITY — Dr. Fabricio Zuniga had called 15 hospitals but he still couldn’t find an empty bed. A COVID-19 patient in the emergency department was in critical condition and needed to be transferred to the intensive care unit, but the six-bed ICU was full.
As Zuniga kept dialing, a team of five nurses monitored oxygen saturation levels and blood pressure and moved the patient into and out of prone and side lateral position. They used a device called an incentive spirometer to help the patient keep breathing.