HHS sends supplies for McAllen convention center hospital

The McAllen Convention Center is being converted into a healthcare facility to help meet the region's hospital capacity needs. Courtesy photo

McALLEN — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent a cache of medical supplies to the McAllen Convention Center earlier this week to treat COVID-19 patients.

The shipment includes emergency and chronic-care pharmaceuticals needed to address the Rio Grande Valley’s immediate and short-term medical needs, a news release from the agency stated.

“The cache typically consists of one pallet of intravenous fluids and enteral nutrition, one pallet of pharmaceuticals, one battery-supported fridge freezer with refrigerated medications and tetanus immunizations and, in some cases, a pelican case containing controlled substances,” a news release from the department stated.

The medication was sent in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is meant to augment state and local resources at the convention center, which is currently being transformed into a Federal Medical Station that could treat up to 250 patients.

A Federal Medical Station can be deployed from HHS to states, tribal nations, territories and local jurisdictions to provide care for up to 250 people during public health emergencies, like COVID-19.

“The Trump Administration continues to deploy additional personnel and resources to support COVID-19 response efforts throughout Texas and the nation,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, M.D. “This pharmacy cache will provide extra supplies and equipment to help frontline healthcare workers treat the surge of COVID patients in the Rio Grande Valley.”