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Blessing Hospital runs out of critical care beds, some surgeries postponed

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- The Adams County Health Department COVID-19 Dashboard reported critical care bed availability was at 0% in Adams County on Friday.

Blessing Hospital confirmed that ICU bed availability was at zero.

Dr. Mary Frances Barthel with Blessing Health System said one thing to keep in mind is that bed availability is very dynamic and the number is constantly moving as people are transferred to different units and new patients are received in. However on Friday afternoon, Dr. Barthel said there were no critical care beds available.

Dr. Barthel said that Blessing has also notified surrounding hospitals that they are unable to take any transfers.

She added that people who need critical care coming into the hospital would have to wait in the emergency room for a period of time while the hospital was able to make room and triage patients.

Dr. Barthel said if they were in a situation where they could not make room by triaging patients, the incoming patient would have to be transferred to another hospital.

Dr. Barthel added that there was capacity at surrounding hospitals on Friday, however she said that was not the case a few days prior, again stating hospital capacities are very dynamic and change quickly.

Dr. Barthel said the hospital had run out of ICU beds prior to COVID-19, especially during flu season. She said Blessing had seen a couple flu cases this fall, but it had yet to impact them significantly.

Dr. Barthel added that Blessing is postponing some elective surgeries, especially if there is a chance the patient would require a critical care bed after the surgery.

Blessing reported in October that it had added 13 more ICU beds and 20 additional med/surge beds. However when asked about further expansion Friday, Dr. Barthel said although the hospital has the space for more beds, they do not have the available staff to support more beds.

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Jim Roberts

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