Major London Hospital Overwhelmed by Coronavirus, Declares Critical Incident

Posted on March 20, 2020

A major London hospital is the first in the UK to become overwhelmed by the coronavirus. The HSJ is reporting that the hospital has declared a "critical incident" because of a surge in coronavirus patients that exceeds its capacity to treat them.

Hospitals in Italy have been way over capacity because of the coronavirus and people are dying that may have survived if more resources were available. This has led to major concerns that the UK, US and other European countries would soon suffer the same fate. As USA Today puts it simply in a recent headline, "Too many coronavirus patients, too few ventilators."

These concerns have become a reality at the Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow. HSJ reports that the hospital says, "we currently do not have enough space for patients requiring critical care."

The Northwick hospital is in touch with nearby hospitals to help transfer patients needing critical care. Unfortunately, this is the early start of coronavirus cases and it likely won't be long before every hospital is over capacity.

In the U.S., there are similar warnings from mayors and governors about the need for more ventilators and beds. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a recent press conference that New York could need as many as 37,000 ventilators in a few weeks and they only have 3,000 statewide.

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