Health Leaders Say Not All ICU Beds Are Full With COVID-19 Patients

Thursday, July 9th 2020, 5:25 pm

The latest COVID-19 executive order reports shows many hospitals in the state are either at capacity or close to it in the ICUs.

Health leaders said executive order reports, which have detailed the number of ICU beds available at hospitals across the state, are correct, but they said they’re only correct for a period of time because that is an area of the hospital that is always changing.

“This is not something I would be concerned about. I would say this is typical activity for a hospital this size,” said Dr. Kersey Winfree, chief medical officer for SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital.

The latest executive order report released shows only 19% of adult ICU beds are available.

Some of the Oklahoma City metro’s largest hospitals like OU Medical Center, Mercy and SSM Health St Anthony, showed they were at capacity with Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City being the only one with two beds available.

But the number of ICU beds open changes every day and every hour, Winfree said.

“We call it patient flow,” said Winfree. ” It is hard to really take and give an estimate based on just a snapshot because it is really an ongoing motion picture.” 

Winfree said before COVID-19, the hospital would spend a good amount of time at ICU capacity.

As for their patients in the intensive care unit right now, Winfree said their ICU is not full of COVID-19 patients. 

“They are predominantly non-COVID patients that actually have a higher level of care requirement for multiple conditions which is a typical day and ICU censuses for us,” said Winfree. 

However, Winfree noted hospitalizations have increased. 

“The acuity has not been a severe we’ve seen in the past, and I think that is related to some of the things as far as we have expanded treatments,” said Winfree. 

New executive order reports are released every weekday evening on the state health department's website.