Local Hospitals Respond to Mayor Steven Reed Shortage of ICU Beds Comment
In an effort to respond to and prevent further spreading of Coronavirus (COVID-19) activity in Central Alabama, Baptist Health continues to triage patients at our Coronavirus Care Clinics, educate the public on appropriate precautions and care for all patients within Baptist Health hospitals and clinics. Based on the numbers reported daily, all three Baptist Health Hospitals have seen an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the past three weeks. Baptist Health has made necessary adjustments to manage the local pandemic in the most sustainable way possible. Team members have continued to provide compassionate and advanced care to all patients while protecting the general patient population from those with COVID-19 related symptoms. While capacity within intensive care units (ICUs) has been reached throughout this pandemic, this is not uncommon within typical hospital day-to-day operations.
Baptist Health has an inventory of 80 adult ICU beds throughout the health system:
• 16 at Baptist Medical Center East
• 58 at Baptist Medical Center South
• Six (6) at Prattville Baptist Hospital
The availability of these beds is ever-evolving and the number of beds in use changes by the hour. This is the case in a non-COVID environment and remains consistent during the current COVID-19 pandemic. When a patient requires highly specialized treatments or procedures not available locally, Baptist Health transfers many of those patients to UAB Hospital in Birmingham. This is a common practice just as it is for smaller community hospitals in Central Alabama to transfer patients to the tertiary care referral center, Baptist Medical Center South. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Baptist Health has continued practicing these common transfer procedures with non-COVID patients. At this time, no patients have been transferred to Birmingham for COVID-related care.
While the situation remains serious, Baptist Health remains prepared to care for the people of the River Region and those in the surrounding 14-county area. It is imperative that the public continue adhering to all guidelines of social distancing, consistent hand hygiene, proper mask wearing and cleaning procedures as well as limiting group gatherings. Together, we can continue to prevent further spreading of COVID-19.
At Jackson Hospital, there are normally 24 ICU beds with an additional 6 in CICU, totaling 30 beds. As of right now, there are no beds available. That goes for both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19.
Mayor Steven Reed said Jackson had one bed available on Wednesday, but that has since changed.
As of right now, Jackson is currently treating 39 COVID-19 patients with 20 in-patients pending test results.
Jackson officials are not disclosing how many of the 30 people in ICU are COVID-19 patients.