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YRMC Lacks Staff, Not Space As COVID-19 Patient Count Continues to Rise, Says CEO

Yuma Regional Medical Center

Averaging 130 COVID-19 patients on average in recent days, Yuma Regional Medical Center is facing a staffing shortage. 


The 400-bed hospital is not at capacity yet, according to President and CEO, Dr. Robert Trenschel, but he says the lack of staff will be more acute as an increasing number of patients seek care.

"That's our biggest issue," he says. Nursing and other staff are handling more patients than is standard. Trenschel says the quality of patient care is still high but there are challenges."Normally we have one nurse to two vents in ICU - one to one. And now we are operating at one to three," he said. 

To find more nurses and other support, YRMC contacted numerous staffing agencies and found what Dr. Trenschel calls a "ridiculous" increase in rates.  But he says the hospital will pay what it must to care for more patients. 

The hospital is equipped with 46 ventilators and as of 8 a.m. Thursday 22 were in use. The hospital also had 137 patients hospitalized with the virus and 30 in the newly established COVID ICU, which has replaced the entire intensive care unit, according to Trenschel. 

The Yuma County Health District has announced the 103rd death related to coronavirus in the County.  A total of 6,683 cases are reported countywide. 36,862 residents in Yuma have been tested for the virus.

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
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