Montgomery hospitals running out of ICU beds as virus overwhelms facilities

Coronavirus

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Montgomery says COVID-19 cases are becoming overwhelming for area hospitals and patients are being moved to Birmingham hospitals.

During a news conference Wednesday, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed gave a staggering update to the COVID-19 situation.

“We wanna make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep not only our healthcare system operable and working at a peak level, but that we’re not taking needless risk,” Reed said.

Here is a breakdown the Montgomery area ICU bed shortage:

  • Baptist East: short 3 ICU beds
  • Baptist South: 0 available ICU beds
  • Prattville Baptist: 0 available ICU beds
  • Jackson Hospital: 1 available ICU bed

Doctor Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said hospitals have ways to expand ICU beds.

“For example, you might see a hospital take part of their surgery center bands or surgery, recovery area, convert that to ICU beds so we can flex and expand ICU beds,” Dr. Williamson said.

Williamson said a large number of Montgomery’s COVID-19 cases are a result of community spread.

“Frankly, that is more troubling in many ways that a point source outbreak like a nursing home,” Dr. Williamson said.

While officials said COVID-19 patients are headed to Birmingham area hospitals, the Jefferson County Healthcare Coalition said they have not been asked to assist in any transfers.

“While patient transfers between facilities take place on a regular basis within Alabama, involving both COVID -19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients, there were no transfers today of COVID-19 patients from Montgomery to Birmingham hospitals,” JCHC said in a statement. “The Jefferson County Healthcare Coalition has not received any official requests for assistance with the transfer of patients from Montgomery to Birmingham.”


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