Local intensive care bed supply is at an all-time low this year, prompting hospitals to take patients elsewhere, according to hospital officials.
Patients have occupied 97% of ICU beds at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria as of Tuesday morning, and OSF chief executive officer Dr. Michael Cruz claims five or six of the organization’s hospitals are still at or near capacity.
As a result, hospitals are being forced to relocate patients and reorganize staff roles.
“Sometimes we have to move individuals who might have come from one state – who wish to stay in town and will usually do so – but we can’t because there is no one or no way to care for them there,” Cruz said. “Is this what a patient wants? No, it’s not true. And then, in these situations, that’s exactly what we’re left with.”
It’s not just about the total number of beds available; according to Cruz. Although the increase in hospitalizations is mostly attributed to increasing in COVID cases, certain beds are unsuitable for COVID patients. And not every member of the medical team is qualified to handle such patients.
Experts believe that problems with the COVID vaccine have had a significant effect on the recent increase in hospital visits.
Just one of the 80 COVID patients admitted to Unity Point Health on Wednesday had received at least one dose, according to Dr. Samer Sader.
Despite the fact that vaccines are more widely available than ever before, there are nevertheless problems, said Sader.
“We’re highly organized now than we were in early drop. Nonetheless, the sheer volume of patients is forcing us to change our procedures. That is the true bottom line “, Sader remarked.
According to experts, vaccines are the solution, but demand for vaccinations is declining, despite the fact that they are more available than ever before.
Cruz predicts that area clinics would have to pivot through and across their programs before vaccine rates increase.