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A Clarification About ICU Capacity

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Laura Florez-McCusker

As we continue in this pandemic, we want to make an important clarification regarding ICU bed availability at Kaweah Health. We report unoccupied, licensed ICU beds to the State, but those numbers may not paint an accurate picture of patient demands and how we are responding to them. We have 41 licensed ICU beds in two physical locations, only one of which can be used for COVID patients who need ICU-level care; the airflow in the other unit prevents us from being able to isolate COVID-19 patients. Today, we reported to the State, as they request that we do daily, our licensed ICU bed availability, which is 13 beds. Those 13 available ICU beds are in two physical locations in our Medical Center – five of them are available only to patients who do not have COVID, while eight other beds are in our ICU for COVID patients.

We continue to have a high volume of COVID-19 patients coming into our Medical Center and now have five units that are 100 percent COVID isolation units. Our critical care staff, including doctors, nurses, techs, etc. are working extra shifts to keep up with the demand, but we’re doing everything we can to make sure that every patient gets the care that they need. We have received a waiver from the State, which has allowed us to work outside of nurse-to-patient ratios to care for the increase in patients. We have submitted emergency requests to the State for resources and in the meantime, we’re welcoming back more staff by the day, while onboarding more and more new team members to care for the increased volume of patients. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that every patient gets the care that they need.