The hospitals in Colorado are almost packed. This is because of the flu and COVID-19. If people get the flu, it cannot be pleasant for them. People should take care of themselves by being vaccinated against COVID-19 and getting a flu shot. They should also wear masks when around others who have the virus or colds to spread it even more efficiently.
“We need people to get vaccinated,” Dr. Stephen Cobb, chief medical officer for Centura Health’s Denver region, said. “We have learned from the past that how we behave affects what kind of year we will have.
Last winter, there were many COVID-19 cases in hospitals, but our other needs helped us with it. The flu season was almost nonexistent because people wore masks and stayed away from others when they could. Now people are going outside again and getting infections and getting hurt more often.”
COVID-19 patients are a small part of all patients in Colorado intensive care units. But there is not much room left if the virus continues to spread.
On September 10, the state said there were fewer beds than before the winter. Scott Bookman, COVID-19 incident commander, said hospitals were activating their surge plans and converting available rooms to take more intensive care patients.
The number of beds available changes every day. On Tuesday, the state reported 238 ICU beds were ready to use, but by Thursday, that dropped to 187. That is about 11% of total capacity — the lowest level available since the pandemic started.
These are statewide figures. But in Larimer County, it is even worse. The county’s hospitals have been at 100% capacity since Aug. 30th, and on Thursday, it was 107%.
This means there are not enough spaces to take care of all the people who need care in the ICU in Larimer County hospitals. 40% of ICU patients have COVID-19, which is not good because they need more space to care for themselves.
“We need you to take this situation seriously,” Tom Gonzales, director of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, said in a message to residents. “We can’t ask our hospitals to carry the burden of this disease anymore.”
Colorado is lucky because about 10% of beds are available statewide. That means people can get care for emergencies. Some hospitals have stopped doing surgeries that aren’t life-threatening, but they still have room to help people with heart attacks or strokes.
Like the South, some places in the country where more than 95% of ICU beds are complete. That means many people can’t get a bed when they need one. There is an Alabama man who died of a heart condition. He called for 43 ICU beds and still couldn’t find one to go into. A Texas man also died because he couldn’t find an ICU bed when he needed it for gallstones that could have been treated if he had found a place to go into an ICU bed.
Recently, all of Idaho and parts of Alaska announced they would be moving to “crisis standards of care.” This designation allows doctors and hospitals to do things like give someone who doesn’t have the best chance at surviving more medical attention.
Some Colorado hospitals say that they need more staff. This means that they can’t do all the necessary things like start and finish elective procedures and find a bed in the intensive care unit for patients when needed.
Hospitals in Colorado are trying to keep up by postponing elective courses, discharging patients promptly, adjusting staff, and declining to take transfers from other facilities when they don’t have a bed available.
J.P. Valin said that 90% of the people in ICUs at their Colorado facilities are there for something other than COVID-19: accidents, strokes, or emergency surgeries.
They also accepted some patients from neighboring states who did not have enough space and need a bed for themselves. There is not a “crisis,” but it’s essential to reduce the strain on the system so that beds are available for anyone who needs one.
Some other hospitals also have seen a rise in patients. HealthOne reported that patients with COVID-19 tripled in recent weeks, but they are still a tiny fraction of all admissions.
About one-third of these patients need ICU care, which is about the same as previous waves. This is not uncommon amongst these types of viruses.
“There is no doubt that the current increase has put stress on the hospitals. But we are grateful because our hospitals have been able to take care of our patients, “spokeswoman Stephanie Sullivan said in a statement.