‘We Are Stretched’: Oklahoma Hospitals At Capacity Working To Care For Patients With & Without COVID

Monday, January 4th 2021, 6:18 pm
By: Erica Rankin

With COVID-19 cases in the thousands everyday health care workers are being exhausted and hospitals are bursting at the seams.

The chief medical officer at OU Health said our regions, six and eight, have been able to increase beds over the past month, but they have done it by stretching nursing ratios and having staff work longer hours. He said by doing so they are exhausted.

“We are stretched we are really stretched,” said Cameron Mantor, the Chief Medical Officer at OU Health.

Mantor said they have been bracing for weeks for the post-holiday spike.

He said they are having to make tough decisions on things like elective procedures to be able to keep up with the amount of COVID-19 positive patients they are caring for in the hospital and in the ICU.

“Our surgical leadership has talked about what are we going to do with cases, and we are actively instituting our plan now to cut back on surgical procedures,” said Mantor.

Right now, our regions are teetering on the edge of tier four in the hospital surge plan.

In both regions nearly 35% of patients in the hospital are in with the coronavirus.

At SSM Health St. Anthony, their chief medical officer said they are operating at capacity or over every single day.

“There is always a wait to get a bed,” said Dr. Kersey Winfree, the SSM Health Regional Chief Medical Officer.

Winfree said they are exhausted but committed to taking care of their patients and each other.