Lecture Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic presented numerous challenges to NYC hospitals, especially those in Queens, NY. A borough that has the fewest hospitals beds while serving the largest immigrant population in the United States found it was quickly overwhelmed with the surge of sick patients from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a short period of time, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center transitioned from being a busy Level 1 Trauma Center to a critical access hospital for COVID-19 positive patients in the epicenter of the disease. A creative, team approach resulted in the rapid expansion of critical care bed capacity and resources. Drawing on trauma surgery disaster preparedness, similar principles were applied to allocating scarce resources, including the creation of a surgical critical care team dedicated to COVID-19 positive critical care patients. The impact on trauma surgery, surgical critical care and emergency general surgery will be discussed, as well as how these disciplines adapted to the disaster. Unexpected challenges and their solutions will be presented, and when to transition the focus to a battle field triage scenario will be discussed.
Describe how to rapidly expand hospital capacity in a disaster
Understand the role of surgeons in disaster planning
Understand when to transition to a battle field triage approach during a disaster