U. Md. hospitals serving Prince George’s Co. move to ‘crisis standards of care’

Additional hospitals in the University of Maryland health system are shifting to “crisis standards of care,” citing depletion of available resources due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The University of Maryland Capital Region Health, or UM Capital, said Friday that its medical centers are “declaring a hospital emergency (disaster) and implementing crisis policies, procedures and processes — referred to as Crisis Standards of Care (CSC).”

“The current demand for care is depleting our available resources, including staffing,” UM Capital said in a news release.

UM Capital serves Prince George’s County and includes UM Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, UM Bowie Health Center and the Emergency Department within UM Laurel Medical Center.

The uptick in COVID-19 cases has led to increased visits in the hospitals’ emergency departments and staffing shortages.

“This is not a decision we made lightly and is one that was made after exhausting all other avenues to address issues that are challenging our operations,” Dr. Trudy Hall, UM Capital vice president and deputy chief medical officer, said in a statement.

Crisis Standards of Care give legal and ethical guidelines to health care providers when they have too many patients and not enough resources to care for them all, The Associated Press reported.

Some changes UM Capital will be implementing include streamlining processes, modifying surgical schedules, simplifying documentation and redeploying staff.

Prince George’s County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter said in a statement that hospitals across the county are seeing a surge of COVID-19 patients. Earlier this week, Maryland surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Two other University of Maryland hospitals have declared CSCs — Upper Chesapeake Health and Charles Regional Medical Center.

Luminis Health, which operates Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis and Doctors Community Medical Center in Lanham, has declared a “contingency protocol,” citing a 325% spike in hospitalizations this month.


More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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