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NEWS | Jan. 11, 2021

BAMC to transfer new pediatric patients needing inpatient care to preserve COVID efforts

By Elaine Sanchez Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

With the ongoing threat of the pandemic and to preserve resources and staffing, Brooke Army Medical Center will transfer new pediatric patients needing inpatient care to local children’s hospitals at this time.

“We are taking this additional precautionary measure to ensure our healthcare professionals are poised to support an increased need for COVID-19 care for our service members and families,” said Air Force Col. Patrick Osborn, San Antonio Military Health System Surgeon-in-Chief and BAMC’s Deputy Commander for Surgical Services.

Pediatric patients will still be evaluated and treated in the BAMC Emergency Department; however, if an inpatient admission is required, the patient will be transferred to a community hospital, Osborn explained. Current pediatric inpatients and outpatient pediatric services will be unaffected, he added.

“We have coordinated with all of the major health systems in town to ensure a smooth transfer and continuity of care for our pediatric patients needing inpatient services,” Osborn said.

Some BAMC pediatric specialists and surgeons train in local children’s hospitals through a resource-sharing agreement, he added, which has further reinforced these relationships and ability to quickly implement changes.

“We took a similar posture during the summer COVID surge,” he said. “This experience helps to drive our decisions as we work to ensure we are able to fully support our service members, military families and community trauma patients.”

BAMC also recently began delaying many non-urgent, elective surgical cases, particularly those requiring an overnight stay.

“We have had to adopt this posture twice since the pandemic started, and we have shown the agility to quickly reopen elective surgical access once conditions warrant,” Osborn said.

BAMC will continue to assess conditions daily and adjust as needed. “We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and support as we work to ensure everyone’s safety,” Osborn said.

“We are members of this amazing community too and are absolutely committed to providing the highest-quality care in the safest way possible to our military, veteran and civilian patients,” he added. “We are grateful to work and collaborate with our civilian counterparts in this city’s world-class healthcare and trauma system.”