Region 1 sees massive ICU bed shortage

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Doctors are rushing to tackle longer waiting times and a massive ICU bed shortage due to a rush of COVID-19 cases.

Since there are only 4 intensive care beds available in the entire Region 1, this has placed an incredible burden on the hospitals and staff.

“What is becoming difficult for all healthcare providers is that having a limited number of ICU beds is not just about the COVID patients,” said Nikki Mcintosh, MercyHealth’s chief nursing officer. “It’s about the other patients that you couldn’t also look after.”

Hospitals are slowly getting new antiviral pills to help sick patients recover from COVID-19. UW Health Clinical Professor Dr. Bartho Capoli said the number of hospitals is low at the moment, but he hopes it will ease the burden on health workers.

“These are treatments, not prevention … an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure … do what you can to avoid contracting COVID. Vaccinate, fortify, mask, social distancing … all of those things, “Capoli said.

Doctor Stephen Bartlett is the Chief Medical Officer of the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford. He said they had trained staff to treat patients in other hospital units when they reached their capacity.

“The thought that there are only 4 ICU beds in the area is a cause for concern,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett stated that reaching capacity could easily be avoided if the community did its part.

“When people get COVID, they trust the medical community to treat them. They trust the drugs they offer, they trust and get the active drugs for the infection, “said Bartlett. “I would say … if you trust what we will give you when you are infected, why not trust what we will give you to prevent infection.”

Bartlett stressed that most patients admitted to the intensive care unit are unvaccinated. Several other health care workers are repeating the same message – getting vaccinated.

Copyright 2022 WIFR. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment