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Blessing Hospital runs out of critical care beds, some surgeries postponed

QUINCY (WGEM) – The Adams County Health Department COVID-19 Dashboard reported that critical care bed availability was 0% in Adams County on Friday.

Blessing Hospital confirmed that the availability of the ICU bed was zero.

Dr. Mary Frances Barthel with Blessing Health System said one thing to keep in mind is that bed availability is very dynamic and the number is constantly moving as people are transferred to different units and new patients are received. However, on Friday afternoon Dr. Barthel said there were no beds available for critical care.

Dr. Barthel said Blessing has also notified surrounding hospitals that they are unable to take any transfers.

She added that people in need of critical care entering the hospital will have to wait in the emergency room for a period of time while the hospital was able to create space and triage patients.

Dr. Barthel said that if they were in a situation where they could not fit in trying patients, the incoming patient would have to be transferred to another hospital.

Dr. Barthel added that there was capacity at surrounding hospitals on Friday, but she said that was not the case a few days before, and again said the hospital capacities were very dynamic and changing rapidly.

Dr. Barthel said the hospital had run out of ICU beds before COVID-1

9, especially during flu season. She said Blessing had seen a few flu cases in the fall, but it had not yet affected them significantly.

Dr. Barthel added that Blessing is postponing some optional surgeries, especially if there is a chance that the patient will need a critical care bed after the surgery.

Blessing reported in October that 13 more ICU beds and 20 extra with / surge beds had been added. But when asked about further expansion on Friday, Dr. Barthel, although the hospital has room for more beds, they do not have the staff available to support more beds.

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