Hospital should ‘be prepared’


To the Editor:

Today’s Globe (March 31st) front page story suggests the newest coronavirus medical forecast predicts Mass. will see its peak in mid-April. Our MV Hospital CEO is also suggesting that 9 serious cases might overwhelm our 25-bed hospital. There has also been much conjecture on other limitations at the hospital.

No one who has ever been involved with Island Boy Scouting (I have) ever forgets the Scout motto “Be Prepared.”

The first thing one sees today, on entering the MV Hospital, is the large open area where the Health Fair is held. Nearby is the large chair-filled waiting room near the admission desk and the long wide floor hallway showing off celebrity pictures.

I guess my point is that before the surge hits us (I hope it doesn’t, but probably will) we could make our 25-bed hospital into a temporary 56-60 bed hospital almost immediately by getting rid of the chairs, grand piano etc., setting up temporary beds in the newly open spaces, and “Be Prepared” for what may descend here in mid-April.

Frank S. Honey


  1. All bring up excellent points here. A licensed respiratory therapist must be on hand at all times to monitor a ventilated patient. Likewise, there must be sufficient MDs, PAs, and RNs, around the clock, to care for that person. At the same time, comorbidities raise the chances of occurrences, such as pulmonary embolism and cardiac arrest. A full team then must be present, 24/7, to respond to such emergencies. Staff with ACLS ( Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) training would be essential. So, too, would the radiology techs, ultrasound techs, MRI techs, need to be ready to respond at a moment’s notice for crucial diagnostic imaging. This is all for just one patient. Going from three patients to nine to many more multiplies the demand for all of those healthcare providers. This does not even begin to take into account all the medical supplies needed to care for a single routinely admitted. I will stop my estimations here. The thought of the complexity of keeping such an establishment running is beyond me at this point.

  2. Frank S. Honey, are you saying you recently gained access to the hospital via the main entrance? From what I hear and see, no one has been able to enter through the front, main entrance for several weeks. Everyone, even patients coming for schedule outpatient services, has to go through a tent. I saw a big tent on the ‘other side’ of the hospital last week. Turns out that’s where employees enter. From what I have been reading, the first thing one sees entering through a tent is a harried staff member in PPE, not a piano.

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