A look inside one NYC hospital on the front line of the coronavirus crisis

Inside the Intensive Care Unit on the eighth floor of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, the IV drip bags are eerily out of place.

Instead of hanging on metal stands next to the patients’ beds, they’re all out in the hallway — with extra-long tubing delivering drugs, nourishment and fluids to critically ill coronavirus victims in rooms behind closed doors.

The drastic measure — which allows doctors and nurses to treat people without exposure to their deadly disease — was shown to The Post during an exclusive tour of the hospital as it braces for the expected “apex” of the outbreak in New York later this month.

Inside the ICU rooms, 26 patients were lying in beds on Tuesday, more than twice the normal caseload of just 12.

Most were older men and women, about three-quarters of whom were heavily sedated and attached to ventilators, mercifully unaware of the tubes stuck down their tracheas and the machines that keep their lungs working and their bodies alive.

But one young man — who appeared to be in his early 30s and otherwise fit, unshaven and with his brown hair in a crew cut — was awake and propped up on his bed.

A clear plastic oxygen mask was strapped to his face, and the silent hiss of the tank was his only companion as he stared with a desperate and forlorn look through the glass in the doors to his room.

“The most scary thing is to see how rapidly the patients deteriorate,” said Celeste Bethon, the Borough Park medical center’s vice president of nursing.

“When they deteriorate, they deteriorate very quickly. Their oxygen levels drop very quickly and it’s very difficult for us to get them back to where we want them to be.”


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