The holidays are always the busiest time of the year for the ER team at Telluride Regional Medical Center. But this year, the team got a special gift, as they welcomed a New Year’s Baby on January 1, 2023.

The holiday weekend started with a man having a stroke. A stroke is called a brain attack. Time is critical. The team responded quickly with an evaluation, lab work, a CT scan, and a virtual consult with a Denver neurologist. After receiving the clot busting medication, the patient was transferred by air to the closest certified comprehensive stroke center.

The action-packed weekend was just beginning.

On December 31, nearly 20 patients arrived at the ER, including one with a heart arrhythmia, several patients with fractures from ski accidents, and a woman with Type 1 diabetes who needed transfer to an ICU. The team treated a baby with a severe viral respiratory infection and an older gentleman with a critical spinal cord injury from a ski accident.  With only five beds in the ER, managing all these patients took a lot of creative juggling.

It was hectic again on New Year’s Day. The rooms were filled with patients when EMS called to say they were on their way with a woman who was in active labor.

Telluride baby delivery 2023Kelsey’s contractions started that morning. By mid-day, things were getting intense. She and her husband Josh were planning to drive to Montrose, but quickly realized the baby had other ideas. They called 911 and flagged down a police officer who escorted them to an ambulance that got them to the Medical Center with minutes to spare. Her contractions were just 1-2 minutes apart.

She arrived at the ER in the final stages of labor. Although TRMC does not have the luxury of obstetricians or anesthesiologists, the team was prepared. Having practiced for this exact situation, they knew exactly what to do.  Thanks to generous donations to the Telluride Medical Center Foundation, the team also had state of the art equipment they needed, equipment that is usually only available in larger facilities.

The entire ER team was thrilled to welcome Cooper, Telluride’s first baby of 2023. Soon, Kelsey and Cooper were stable enough to be transferred by ambulance to the hospital in Montrose. It was a rewarding way to end a long, challenging weekend spent managing a lot of patients in a limited space in a short period of time.

“We are very grateful to everyone involved,” said Kelsey. “It was all hands on deck. The 911 operator, the police officer, the EMT and the TRMC emergency team were all amazing. It was a great way to kick off the New Year.”

New Year’s weekend was undoubtedly busy and challenging for the team at TRMC. It was also deeply fulfilling. Most people do not realize the number of patients who present for care, nor how complex the patients’ needs might be, but one thing is clear. TRMC stands ready – 24/7/365 – to care for our community.

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