TAMPA, Fla. — Information from the Agency for Health Care Administration shows that ICU beds are filling up at many Tampa Bay area hospitals.
Many other hospitals are near capacity. These numbers are for all cases, not just COVID-19.
Dave Sobush with the Tampa Bay Partnership says the statistics over the last three months are concerning.
“At some point, you start to run out of equipment, and you start to run out of staff that is trained. The thing to keep in my mind with these numbers moving in the wrong direction is to maintain your own personal safety and hope that others do as well,” said Sobush.
Overall, Pinellas County has just 14 % of ICU beds available. Hillsborough County is even lower at 13%.
Hospital officials say they have different plans to adjust to the need.
HCA Hospitals are stopping some non-urgent procedures in Pinellas County starting Monday, July 6. Baycare will do the same at the end of the week.
Baycare provided the following statement:
“As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the Tampa Bay area, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties have seen available hospital bed capacity decline significantly in the past month. Our hospitals in both counties are no exception.
As we announced late last week, we will begin reducing the number of non-urgent surgeries performed in our Pinellas County hospitals to ensure there is capacity for a growing number of severely-ill COVID-19 patients.
BayCare’s top priority is the health and well-being of our patients and the community and we’re working together with officials and other health systems in both counties to properly respond to the pandemic.
For the latest on statewide bed capacity, you can visit the Agency for Health Care Administration website: https://ahca.myflorida.com/.”
Other surrounding counties are working on issues too.
Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center just announced the addition of 50 ICU beds to deal with growing numbers of patients.
Advent Health did note that while COVID-19 cases are increasing, there is not a surge in patients who require hospitalization because of the virus.
"Our executive and clinical teams at AdventHealth North Pinellas are closely and continuously monitoring positive COVID-19 cases in the hospital. In the event the hospital reaches ICU capacity, there are response plans in place which include:
- Expanding our ICU capacity to our Progressive Care Unit (PCU), which has the staffing expertise and monitoring capability to manage critically ill patients in the hospital;
- Use of patient overflow locations for patients who are ready to be discharged from the hospital;
- The ability for AdventHealth North Pinellas to transfer patients for continued medical care as needed to a local AdventHealth hospital in our connected network of care in Tampa Bay;
- Reducing and/or pausing our non-emergent surgical cases to increase capacity for COVID-19 patients, when necessary.
Currently, AdventHealth West Florida Division hospital locations have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for our team members, patients and guests, as well as available medical-surgical beds, ICU beds and ventilators, should they be needed. The planning and protocols we put in place earlier this year, including strict safety guidelines, quarantining of COVID-19 patients in designated units and care areas, and enhanced cleaning and infection control measures, has well-positioned us to respond and ensure we continue to provide high-quality care for our community. We remain prepared to take care of any patient in our community who needs our services."
Below is a breakdown of the overall ICU beds in each county (as of July 6):
Adult ICU Census. 325
Available Adult ICU: 50 (13.33%)
Adult ICU Census. 268
Available Adult ICU: 45 (14.38%)
Adult ICU Census. 150
Available Adult ICU: 9 (5.6%)
Adult ICU Census. 117
Available Adult ICU: 21 (15.22%)
Adult ICU Census. 62
Available Adult ICU: 29 (31.87%)
Adult ICU Census. 75
Available Adult ICU: 38 (33.63%)
Adult ICU Census. 56
Available Adult ICU: 11 (16.42%)
Adult ICU Census. 26
Available Adult ICU: 9 (25.71%)