The hospital became fully operational on Tuesday, and treated roughly 70 patients in its first 24 hours, according to Dr. David Tarantino, chief medical officer for Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Before the facility was opened, CBP emergency medical technicians and paramedics who had been deployed to the border treated about 1,000 people.
As of Thursday evening, roughly 3,050 migrants remained under the bridge waiting to be processed, according to Lewis Owens, the Val Verde county judge.
More than 150 CBP EMTs and paramedics were deployed to assist the migrants at the border, Tarantino said.
“We’ve been addressing water, sanitation, hygiene, food issues and medical has been a top priority from day 1,” he said. “Our idea was to ensure that medical (issues were) covered for the migrants but also protect our workforce, but also lessen the burden on the local health system.”
Since the field hospital became fully functional, staff have handled environmental and heat injuries, migrants with nausea, others with respiratory illnesses from the dust and environment, as well as pregnant women with issues or concerns, Tarantino said.
“We did have a delivery the other day that was done on site here, between our EMT, paramedics and our on-site medical team. We were able to handle that, and then we handed that off to the local health system,” he added.
The field hospital consists of services including initial triage, vital sign and intake assistance, in which staff members are able to determine whether a case is urgent, or acute and needs emergency treatment or referral, Tarantino said.
“At our peak, we had over 14,000 persons here (at the border) and some of them were here for beyond 24 hours and in the open environment setting. And accounting for the journey that they’ve had there is certainly a risk for public health and medical issues and concerns,” Tarantino said. “So we wanted to be very responsive to medical needs and make sure that we had a robust capability on site.”
Rosa Flores reported from the border and Christina Maxouris wrote in Atlanta.Source link