‘It is time to start taking this seriously,’ San Antonio ER doctor warns as hospitalizations surge

Dr. Robert Frolichstein discusses hospital capacity, need for staffing

SAN ANTONIO – Methodist Healthcare System and other San Antonio hospitals, are in desperate need for more staff as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to surge, according to Dr. Robert Frolichstein, an emergency room doctor at Methodist Hospital and the president of Greater San Antonio Emergency Physicians.

“I know all the systems, and certainly Methodist Healthcare System, is scrambling to hire people as fast as we can,” he said.

Frolichstein said he is worried that hospitals will be forced to choose who gets treated and who doesn’t if the number of hospitalizations continues to rise. Right now, Bexar County continues to see a 10% jump in hospitalizations every day.

“I don’t think we’re there yet, but it is time to start taking this seriously,” he said. “If this rise goes unchecked, then we will reach that point and that, that’s a bad thing if we reach that point.”

On Tuesday, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said hospitals could reach capacity within a week or two. Currently, hospital capacity is at 23%. Frolichstein said increasing capacity requires a lot of coordination.

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“We’re scrambling to create spaces and create beds. And it’s a little, it’s very complex because we’re very committed to not putting COVID(-19) patients near or on the same floor or in the same unit as patients that are not suffering from COVID(-19).”

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WATCH: Part two of Dr. Frolichstein’s interview

About the Authors

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Brina is the Executive Producer of the NightBeat and KSAT Explains. She has been with KSAT since 2015. She is a Houston native and proud to call San Antonio home.

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