Doctors Say They Have Seen A Rise In Admissions For Patients With COVID-19

Thursday, July 8th 2021, 6:37 pm

Local doctors have expressed their concern with the trajectory of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

They have been sounding the alarm for the past few weeks with the Delta variant on the rise in the northeast part of the state and across the country.

In the last week Oklahoma has seen a 14% increase in COVID cases and a 26% increase in hospitalizations.

This has some local doctors concerned for capacity if there was to be an outbreak of COVID in the Oklahoma City metro, with hospitals like Integris Health nearly full with other patients.

"Our hospitals are pretty full from health problems that collected over the year,” Dr. David Chansolme, the medical director of infection prevention for Integris Health said. “So, there is a paramount of people in the hospital who weren't able to get all the health care they needed during the pandemic, and we are seeing the dividends of that now."

Chansolme said what has happened in other parts of the state could be an indication of what could happen in the metro in the weeks to come.

"Integris is statewide and so we have actually been dealing a lot with northeast Oklahoma where we are seeing significant activity,” Chansolme said.

Dr. David Kendrick, the founder of MyHealth Access Network, said in recent data 25% of people who receive a positive COVID-19 test end up being admitted to the hospital. He said that rate is alarmingly high.

MyHealth Access Network is a statewide health information exchange for hospitals.

Health officials with OU Health said they have seen a recent increase in the number of people being admitted with COVID-19.

"In our medical center we have seen a tripling in the amount of people with COVID-19 who are in the hospital over the lowest amount of patients we had in,” Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health’s chief COVID officer said.

Bratzler said some have been transfers from other hospitals.

He said they are prepared if cases get bad again, but no one wants it to get to the level we saw late last year and into this year.

"In January we saw 4,000 cases a day and we managed it,” Bratzler said. “We had to shut down most elective procedures and convert areas of the hospitals to COVID ICUs and we do have the capacity to do that again.”

Health officials have said that many of the recent hospitalizations have been people who are unvaccinated.