Medical care facilities see increase in patients, reaching bed capacity

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — With it being just the second week into the new year hospitals ad urgent care facilities are seeing an uptick in patients which is also resulting in hospitals being close to or meeting bed capacity.

“With the surge of respiratory illnesses and other things that we’ve been seeing, we certainly have had days where we’ve just been completely overcrowded,” Senior Vice President of Frederick Health, Cheryl Cioffi said.

As cases of covid, RSV, and the flu start to rise after the holidays, hospitals say they are seeing an influx of patients. Meritus medical center and Frederick Health say they have seen an increase compared to past years. Frederick says they have about 130 to 200 patients a day.

“We are a little bit higher than what we would have expected,” Chief Operating Officer of Meritus Medical Center Carrie Adams said. “But we are prepared in advance, we were watching a lot of our triggers with flu and with COVID in our community to make sure that we were ready, so we prepared with staffing and bed capacity and opened up our surge units when needed.”

WVU Medicine has reported the Berkely Medical Center is at 81 percent capacity for acute care and 70 percent for critical care.

Like other health care facilities, we have been impacted by the “tridemic” (Flu, Covid, and RSV) resulting in an increase in the inpatient census at both hospitals.

Statement from WVU Medicine

“We have the combination of the national healthcare workforce shortage that is certainly impacting us as well, combined with these increased patient volumes,” Cioffi said. “We really work day-to-day having several huddles every day to look at bed capacity.”

Medical experts tell me surges in patients are expected in the winter season, but they do expect the surge will die down as they enter the spring season.

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