OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) – As hospital beds fill up across the state, officials are keeping a close eye on availability. We see the problems in the north of the country firsthand, and that includes the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg.
“People die. People are dying … you can’t pretend this isn’t happening because it does and the numbers are high, ”said Michael Seidman, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Director.
Earlier this week, 98 percent of the acute care beds in Claxton-Hepburn were occupied. The intensive care unit was 90 percent full. The hospital responds with daily meetings on how to deal with what’s next. The officials feel ready.
“We have the option of opening more intensive care beds. We have the option of opening more occupied beds. And we plan to occupy these beds when they come, ”said Seidman.
Hospitals are actually dealing with two surges. One is caused by COVID-19. The other is from patients returning to the hospital after a year of absence. But that doesn’t have to be the case with COVID-19.
“The vast majority of people who are hospitalized, end up on ventilators and die are not vaccinated,” Seidman said.
Doctors like Seidman try to convince their patients: ‘Get the shot.’ It is not an easy task.
“Patients who have had COVID twice, I have a few people like this who have been very sick and still have ongoing disabilities who are still hesitant,” Seidman said.
The intensive care unit at Claxton-Hepburn has reached its maximum capacity more than once. But so far the hospital has not had to implement its full surge plan. But it’s done.
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