This is a factoid about hospitals I’ve been meaning to share:
“What you’ve been hearing is a report that we are at 97 percent or so capacity across the Texas medical center. At Houston Methodist, we’re somewhere in the low 90s right now in terms of capacity of ICU beds, but let me put that in perspective … June 25 2019, exactly one year ago … It was at 95 percent. We are highly experienced at utilizing our ICU beds for the sickest of the sick patients day in day out … and it is completely normal for us to have ICU capacities that run in the 80s and 90s. That’s how all of us operate hospitals, and how all hospitals operate.”
“The capacity that’s being reported is base capacity … we have the ability to go far higher than that in terms of the ICU beds that we can utilize for COVID.”
“We have, across Houston Methodist, 24 hundred beds 330 or so of those are our ICU beds on a normal day, but there is an ability to flex beds back and forth. We can turn regular beds into ICU as we need to with appropriate staff, ventilators, and other equipment. We can turn many other areas in the hospital like some of the recovery areas, pre and post surgical areas, and places like that into ICUs.”
He’s right. So Utah being 2 weeks from full capacity in its ICUs is cause for concern–make no mistake about that–but it’s not as dire as it can sound. We still need to be careful! The virus is just as contagious and potentially devastating to individuals’ health as it was in March.