TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A shortage of Intensive Care Unit beds in Leon County has people asking how hospitals deal with the demand of incoming critical patients as COVID-19 cases across the state continue to climb.
Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare says before the coronavirus pandemic began, ICU capacity could reach over 90 percent, so reports of "shortages" are not unusual.
They say despite what seems to be a limited number of beds they are able to handle much more if cases continue to climb.
As of Thursday, adult ICU beds in Leon County are only 15 percent available.
Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration reports 11 of 72 are open.
TMH says they are currently treating 13 patients for COVID-19. Due to HIPPA regulations, they could not say if any of those patients are in the ICU.
TMH also says that reports on ICU space don't "accurately reflect our capacity to care for COVID-19 patients," and if a surge was to come they have identified multiple alternative areas in the hospital to accommodate sick patients.
Capital Regional Medical Center said on Wednesday it had a total of 12 COVID-19 patients.
Both hospitals noted that patients with coronavirus have their own separate units and are only transferred if they need intensive care.
Tallahassee Memorial says they are confident in their ability to care for all patients.
TMH currently has a 20-bed COVID-19 unit. Eleven of those beds are occupied.
They say the spike in numbers we are seeing now is because of carelessness, people not wearing masks or social distancing.