Littleton Regional Healthcare is facing a COVID-19 surge.
On Monday, the hospital announced that 37% of patient capacity was due to COVID patients, including 100% of ICU patients.
That caused a log jam. A quarter of their capacity in the emergency room is made up of patients waiting for beds to be vacated.
“Similar to our colleagues across the state, we are seeing an unprecedented number of COVID-positive patients in both our emergency room and hospital units,” LRH wrote. “We continue to meet or exceed patient capacity on a daily basis, with limited ability to move patients to care. This considerable influx puts an enormous strain on our patient care areas. “
Overall, ICU bed availability decreased to 3% in New Hampshire and 12% in six hospitals in the North Country on Wednesday.
As patient numbers are not expected to decline in the near future, LRH recently introduced a preliminary visitor policy.
It states that no visitors under the age of 18 are allowed. Inpatients in hospital are limited to two visitors per day, and those visitors remain the same two people for the entire stay of a patient.
A visitor is now allowed to accompany outpatients to appointments. End-of-life visits are permitted on a case-by-case basis. There will still be a strict visitor ban for COVID-positive patients, but virtual visits will still be available.
“This policy will be evaluated as needed and updated based on submission by the community,” LRH said in a statement. “We continue to monitor COVID-19 activity in our region and adapt our operations at LRH accordingly to best meet the needs of our patients. All patients and visitors must undergo an examination before entering and must be masked at all times during their stay in our facility. “