CHARLESTON, W.V. (WOWK) – A nurse, a hospital, and the West Virginia Hospital Association are all saying the same thing.
They’re facing the same challenges that every hospital in America is facing; shortages.
Charleston Area Medical Center says they have enough supplies for roughly one more week.
“I think we’re as nervous as everyone else,” says CAMC public relations officer Dale Witte.
“A lack of supplies is very concerning,” says Heather Tully, a nurse of 18 years and member of the West Virginia Nurses Association. “Those nurses are on the front lines taking care of some of the sickest patients.”
The decline in supplies here in the Mountain State began weeks before the first positive COVID-19 test result was found.
“A month ago, supply chains were reporting they were trying to get supplies, but were only given what we normally would be ordering,” says Witte. “This is because hospitals around the country and hospitals around the world were doing the same thing. so things started to be rationed very early.”
Another concern is running out of beds and room for new patients.
“Patients that have tested positive, you’re better off having them in a combined facility rather than having them throughout the state,” says Joe Letnaunchyn, President and CEO of WV Hospital Association.
Governor Jim Justice announced in his press conference Monday, that the state is looking at opening up four old hospital sites to treat COVID-19 patients.
But, says Letnaunchyn, then you run into the issue of staffing and equipment at these temporary facilities.
“That’s all in the mix right now,” says Letnaunchyn. “We’re speaking with Secretary Crouch daily, to make sure the plans are in effect.”
In the meantime, how do we fix the issue of the lack of supplies?
“Everyone needs to work together and pull those supplies from various locations,” says Tully.
“We’ve actually had some donations,” says Witte. “From some medical and dental practices in the area and the schools are closed so nursing programs have some extra PPE that they’ve given to us.”
The West Virginia Hospital Association also says they’re taking inventory from every hospital in the State to let Washington know what they need.