KAKE NEWS INVESTIGATES: Hospital bed shortage coming
From New York to New Orleans, the nation’s Coronavirus pandemic means many local hospitals are running out of beds.
In Kansas, private researchers fear the same problem will happen here: not enough hospital beds for new patients. The time frame according to one research firm: that the peak will hit in less than two weeks and the current medical infrastructure won’t be able to keep up.
“That rapid increase in cases has pushed up almost all of our deadlines for states,” said Catherine Castillo, a medical data analyst with Array Analytics. “So for Kansas… the date has moved to April 12.”
Array Advisors is a medical research firm that isn’t just forecasting Coronavirus diagnoses, it’s forecast the hospital’s ability to respond. Normally the research is conducted for paying client medical organizations so they can stock proper supplies and schedule people. Since the pandemic struck, the organization has begun publishing it’s research, free of charge.
“How can we equip health systems because we’re all on the same team here, to get the right sense of urgency,” she said.
Kansas hospitals have a total of 5,894 beds according to the American Hospital Association. There are an additional 554 beds in ICUs.
But in rural areas like Colby and surrounding counties, the resources are much smaller and they’re trying to solve that quickly.
“At all times we keep one, we have the capacity for two,” said Jenny Niblock with Citizen’s Health. “We are very well aware that we may need to have more than two to take care of patients… We know that we may not be able to transfer patients, the urban center may be flooded and we have t keep patients we don’t normally keep.”
Which has may counties looking at old facilities still standing, surgery centers, hotel rooms, which, if combined, could expand patient capacity in some counties by dozens – and in some cases hundreds
“Now we are seeing hospitals start to prepare. At least make plans on how they could add ICU beds,” Castillo said. “
Despite her concern for beds, there’s a bigger problem – the staff available to help them.
“I’m far more worried about human resources,” Niblock said. “We have a limited number of nurses trained in critical care.
LINKS TO CUSTOMIZABLE CHARTS
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