The US Army set up a field hospital in Seattle’s CenturyLink event center, expecting that their 250 extra beds would be utilized during the coronavirus pandemic. Within days after setting it up, it was dismantled and sent somewhere else without treating a single patient.(KUOW)
Setting up a field hospital is a lot of work. The 627th Army Hospital from Fort Carson, and soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington worked for several days to prepare the facility at CenturyLink Event Center in Seattle. Just after they got it up and running on April 5, Governor Inslee had them dismantle it to send it to someplace else that needed it more.
A field hospital contains an emergency room area, x-ray machines, a patient administration division, a lab area, microbiology, blood banking, an isolation unit, operating room suites, sterilization, as well as minimal care, intermediate care and intensive care units. Putting all of that together in a short amount of time is an amazing feat. But this time, it was all for nothing.
“We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with Covid-19 cases… But we haven’t beat this virus yet, and until we do, it has the potential to spread rapidly if we don’t continue the measures we’ve put in place.” Gov Jay Inslee
So once again, the doom and gloom computer models appear to have been incorrect. Washington state has acquired 1,000 beds and over 900 ventilators, as well as the Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima to serve as a field hospital.
As of this writing, Washington state had 9,659 cases of coronavirus and 456 deaths. A virus that began in a Kirkland nursing home quickly enveloped the state. They requested the field hospital just prior to March 30. Three days after it was ready to receive patients, it was dismantled. Is this good news?
Featured photo: an Army member works on the Seattle field hospital. Photo via DVIDSHUB.