Coronavirus in NY: Overcrowding, shortages mount at hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital

Conditions at a hard-hit hospital in Queens are so bad that it resembles a “war zone” — with shortages of both supplies for the medical personnel and beds for their overflow number of coronavirus patients, stunned workers told The Post on Friday.

An EMT who emerged from Elmhurst Hospital — which officials have called “the center of this crisis” — described seeing sick people who under ordinary circumstances would “absolutely be in a bed.”

“There are people who are complaining of having symptoms, but as long as their oxygen levels are OK, they’re getting sent to wait because there’s not too much they can do,” one EMT said.

“It’s almost like a battlefield triage going on.”

The EMT said the hospital was also on the verge of running out of breathing machines for the most critically ill victims of the deadly disease.

“I did go past the intensive care unit, where people are on ventilators,” the EMT said.

“They’re down to maybe one left in the ER, I heard one of the doctors say.”

Another EMT estimated the hospital needed hundreds of beds to accommodate all the patients who need treatment there.

“It’s like a war zone,” the EMT said.

“Everyone’s coughing, everyone’s short of breath.”

A nurse said about two dozen people with symptoms of the coronavirus were sent to sit on chairs in one unit because there were no beds for them.

“Trust me when I tell you they cannot breathe. They really can’t breathe!” she said.

The nurse also said that in addition to the shortage of beds, “we have no masks, we have no gowns.”

“We have no large gloves for the doctors. All we have are the little ones for us. No large gloves!” the nurse said.

In a tweet on Friday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “The doctors and nurses at Elmhurst Hospital are giving it their all right now.”

“We’re laser-focused on keeping them supplied with what they need. Yesterday we sent more ventilators and staff. Today, we sent 8,000 N95 masks, 18,000 head covers and 2,000 booties. More is on the way,” he added.

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