When surge comes, 'I don't know where we're going to put these people': ER doctor

Dr. Erin Beaumont, an ER attending physician at Boston’s Cambridge Health Alliance, shares a video diary of her week on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis on "This Week."
3:30 | 03/29/20

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Transcript for When surge comes, 'I don't know where we're going to put these people': ER doctor
In a sea of statistics and never-ending headlines in this coronavirus crisis, it's easy to overlook the human toll of it all. And sometimes it's personal. This week, I checked in with Dr. Erin Beaumont. A young emergency medicine doctor in Massachusetts. Who I have known since she was in college. On the Monday, the icu with the emergency room at Everett hospital was already filling up. I asked her to keep a video diary as she waits for a surge of patients she expects in the coming days. Thursday, March 24th, 4:48 P.M. I'm about to go in for my shift. Yesterday when I left, our icu was full. We haven't come close to starting our surge yet. I'm nervous about that. Once we get our surge, I don't know where we're going to put these people. I don't know how we're going to treat these people appropriately. I don't know what we're going to do. I just got out of my shift, I took care of a patient who's my age, normal healthy person, who I admitted because he, I'm guessing, we won't know yet, but I'm guessing he has covid-19, based on the way he looked, on the way he was breathing, his chest x-ray, it was heartbreaking, it makes me nervous because he's my age, he's young and healthy. I worry we're just going to see more and more like that. I went to look in on the patient that I was taking care of last night, the one that's my age who's there with presumed covid-19, and he is now in the intensive care unit. It's Thursday, March 26th, about 11:30 at night. I just got back from my shift. We're just waiting. We're sitting here waiting for the inevitable terribleness that we know it's going to happen. It kind of eats away at you and it's really hard. And the prospect of this country being open for business and back to normal in a couple of weeks by Easter is both ridiculous and dangerous and there's no way. I spoke to my mom today, she asked me a question, do you have enough ppe to get through this surge? And my answer was, I don't know. Which brings up another interesting point which is, you know, what do you do -- where do you draw the line between protecting yourself and helping your patients? That's something that I've been kind of grappling with morally. I feel that I'm in a very unique position to be able to help people right now. I have asthma and I worry that if I do get sick I won't do well. And so, it's a really -- it's a really hard position to be in. At some point this evening, all of a sudden we just got overwhelmed, ambulance after ambulance. It all happened at once. Our icus are full. Our floors are full. The emergency room is full. So distressing to hear and our thanks to Dr. Beaumont for sharing her story.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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