Jackson County Memorial Hospital addresses bed situation

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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ALTUS, Okla. (KSWO) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Jackson County Memorial Hospital said their space is being pushed to its limits.

For several consecutive days, they’ve been operating at or above capacity at Jackson County Memorial Hospital. The ICU is full, they have no available beds and they said an overwhelming majority of their patients are unvaccinated.

“The greatest numbers are those who are not vaccinated,” Dr. Nicole Williamson with Jackson County Memorial Hospital said. “We’ve so far only admitted one patient due to respiratory failure with COVID who reported being vaccinated.”

Dr. Williamson said severe Covid-19 symptoms take lots of time and resources to fully treat... resources that become scarce as more patients fill the hospitals.

“Unfortunately, if the resources are unable to meet the demand, we are essentially in a triage situation where we then have to make some very difficult decisions about where those resources, which are limited, go,” Dr. Williamson said. “That is not a very pleasant thing to consider.”

Dr. Williamson says those decisions affect people coming to the hospital for things other than COVID-19.

“What happens when the entire health care system becomes over burdened is even non-COVID illnesses or surgical illnesses or injuries even, say a car accident, becomes difficult to treat,” Dr. Williamson said. “In many cases, we’re unable to get patients transferred to higher levels of care with additional sub specialties that are needed.”

Dr. Williamson said the overcrowding makes things very difficult for hospital workers right now...but that there is a way out of this.

“We have the ability and the power to impact this and avoid this if people will continue to mask indoors, socially distance and vaccinate,” Dr. Williamson said.

Jackson County Memorial Hospital posts daily updates on their Facebook page with information on how much space is available in the ICU and how many beds they have open.

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