June 13, 2024


Health is important

Austin health officials warn there are 16 staffed ICU beds left for 2.3 million residents as COVID cases surge

Wellbeing officers in Austin, Texas, issued a dire warning on Friday: There are only about 16 staffed ICU beds left for the complete location, an 11-county place that is residence to extra than two million individuals. It’s the cheapest range of ICU beds obtainable in the area considering the fact that the pandemic started, the city mentioned. 

“The most recent COVID-19 spike is putting incredible stress on our hospitals, crisis departments and healthcare specialists, and it has even further challenged healthcare facility staffing owing to a longstanding nursing shortage,” a group of hospitals claimed in a assertion from the city. 

All of the hospitals in Travis County — the place Austin is found — and in 10 other counties are component of what the state calls Trauma Area O. Trauma Area O serves somewhere around 2.3 million people, according to the city’s statement. 

Austin’s community well being division urged the neighborhood to act “as the circumstance turns into critical.” 

“We are jogging out of time and our group need to act now,” Dr. Desmar Walkes of the Austin-Travis County Well being Authority stated in the city’s statement. “Our ICU capability is reaching a essential place where by the level of danger to the whole community has substantially elevated and not just to individuals who are needing cure for COVID.”

The dire figures come as Austin is battling a spike in hospitalizations. In accordance to data collected by the metropolis and Travis County, the 7-day typical of COVID-19 hospitalizations has increased by above 47% more than the earlier 7 days. In that time, the selection of COVID-19 clients in nearby ICU’s jumped from 91 to 117, a 28% increase, and the variety of patients on ventilators rose from 47 to 65, a 38% raise, the city’s statement claimed. 

In July, additional than 4,600 new COVID-19 circumstances and 19 deaths have been noted to Austin’s public wellness office, the city additional. 

In a assertion shared at an Austin Town Council meeting on Tuesday, a area nurse practitioner reported the intensive treatment device capability at their hospital just lately “blew up.”

“They are literally all on ventilators and/or ECMO lung bypass,” the nurse practitioner wrote in the assertion. 

“I am angry. I am so angry,” they additional. “I am also unfortunate and dismayed. The third spherical is, was, totally preventable. It is devastating to see and working experience firsthand.”