Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Statewide bed crunch hits home at MCH

With COVID-19-related hospital admissions peaking since the pandemic began, New Hampshire continues to find it difficult to accommodate adult patients.

There were 403 hospitalizations in the state for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, almost double the number of the same time last month. There are more than 7,500 active cases of COVID-19, with around 1,000 new cases reported daily, according to state health officials.

A seven-day average of available hospital beds at the Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough showed that approximately half of the 25 inpatient beds were occupied, one-fifth of which were COVID-19 patients.

A seven-day summary showed that the previous week, 36 patients with COVID-19 and 43 confirmed cases were admitted with a visit to the emergency room.

While Mondanock Community Hospital does not have a traditional intensive care unit and most COVID-19 patients in need of ventilator care are being moved to larger hospitals, Dr. Daniel Perli, Chief Medical Officer of MCH, the hospital is still looking after COVID-19 patients. and more of it than ever before.

“We are seeing more COVID patients than ever before during the pandemic, and we have more patients being hospitalized than ever since the pandemic began,” said Perli. and sicker patients. It’s a significant change in what we’ve seen so far. And because we were able to move more patients at the beginning of the pandemic due to the current shortage of beds [MCH] takes care of sicker patients. “

With Monadnock Community Hospital only having 25 inpatient beds, Perli said many of the most critical cases they see are being moved to hospitals with more space and resources. However, more regional hospitals are experiencing the same crisis, Perli said, which resulted in patients having to keep moving to receive care in the intensive care unit.

And this topic not only affects patients with COVID-19, but all areas of medical care.

“Not only are there beds in the intensive care unit, there really are no beds at all. Even normal medical and surgical beds are rare. That is the current challenge, ”said Perli [critically ill] Patients to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont. We have arguments with the New Hampshire Hospital Association every day and there is a shortage of beds across the board. “

As at the national level, Perli said the vast majority of his hospitalized patients are unvaccinated.

“I took care of COVID patients during Thanksgiving week, and most of the patients in need of hospitalization are unvaccinated. Among the vaccinated, they have shorter stays and are not as sick, “said Perli during clinical time, as I have not yet seen a patient who received a booster that had to be hospitalized.”

Perli called it “vital” that residents get their vaccination and booster vaccination.

Perli said non-COVID patients who would normally be moved to other local hospitals will also have to continue traveling, and the MCH will also need to treat larger numbers of acutely ill or injured patients who may have been moved under other circumstances.

“We are treating more medical patients with acute medical problems, and the increase in COVID levels is contributing to this scarcity of resources,” said Perli.

Perli said there are two problems driving the bed shortage – one is the increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19, and the other is a staff shortage.

Perli said there are beds available in New Hampshire hospitals that are not being used due to a lack of nursing and medical staff to care for them.

“It’s not just a space problem, it’s a lack of clinical resources,” said Perli.

Perli advised members of the community to remain vigilant regarding pandemic precautions, including hand washing, use of disinfectants, social distancing, wearing a mask, especially indoors; and access to vaccinations and booster vaccinations.

“We want our community to get their vaccines. That’s still the most important thing we can do, ”he said. “We see an increase. If you are sick or have symptoms, get tested or seek treatment early on. “

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 extension. 244 or [email protected] She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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