St. John’s Riverside is located in one of the first and densest regions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Westchester County is the fourth most-affected county in New York State, and had a higher incidence of confirmed cases than Manhattan. We had among the highest numbers of confirmed cases in the entire globe. St. John’s Riverside Hospital received every patient and all patients. We had a unique experience during the pandemic, as we are a small community hospital with only two residency specialties in-house, meaning our residents had exposure to caring for the most critically ill patients. We have essentially experienced hands-on disaster medicine training.
St. John’s Riverside Hospital took every possible measure to protect both our staff and our patient population. Within days of the first wave, three patient screening tents were erected outside of the ED. Our administrators had the foresight to secure ventilators early, and even with the creation of our four additional overflow Intensive Care Units, we had enough ventilators for all of our patients throughout the duration of the peak. We were provided proper PPE and cover-alls to wear during our shifts.
The EM Residents were floated to the Intensive Care Units, with unprecedented patient volume, gaining further experience in critical care medicine and resuscitation. Throughout the pandemic, St. John’s Riverside EM managed the sickest of the sick, and exemplified the field of Emergency Medicine. We are proud to have cared for those who were affected by COVID-19 and their families, and will use all that we learned from this experience moving forward to provide the best care for our patients.