Surge – Part 1

As we watched the novel coronavirus spread through China and Italy, we knew it was just a matter of time before a wave of illness hit the US. The surge struck early in New York and New Orleans, threatening to overwhelm health care resources, including PPE, ventilators, ICU beds, and hospital staff. We hear from Dr. Leslie Palmerlee, an emergency physician in New Orleans, about her experience there. Then we go in depth with Dr. Alfredo Astua, a critical care physician at one of New York’s hardest hit hospitals. We explore how they prepared for and managed the COVID-19 surge, how it affected every level of the health care system, and what they learned along the way.

Has your hospital experienced a COVID surge? How did you handle it, or how are you preparing for a potential surge? Share your thoughts and experiences with us on social media @empulsepodcast, or through our website, And stay tuned for Part 2, when we’ll talk practical preparedness strategies from EMS, administration, and ED operations points of view – coming July 3rd!

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Dr. Julia Magaña, Associate Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at UC Davis

Dr. Sarah Medeiros, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UC Davis


Dr. Leslie Palmerlee, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at LSU/University Medical Center in New Orleans, LA

Dr. Alfredo Astua, Chair of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Elmhurst Hospital, Mount Sinai Services in Queens, NY


US Department of Health and Human Services public health emergency preparedness resources 

ACEP National Strategic Plan for Emergency Department Management of Outbreaks of COVID-19


Register now for the 17th annual Emergency Medicine Update: Hot Topics 2020, November 3rd through 7th at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui!

Thank you to the UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine for supporting this podcast and to Orlando Magaña at OM Audio Productions for audio production services.

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