Hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to rise


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Area hospitals are having to deal with an increase of hospitalized patients due to COVID-19. As of this morning’s COVID-19 briefing, Northwest Texas Health Care System has 51 COVID-19 patients hospitalized and 10 other patients under investigation for the virus. 20 of the hospitals’ traditional ventilators are in use, 16 of those being used by COVID-19 patients. But, there could be an issue with intensive care units.

Dr. Brian Weis, the Chief Medical Officer for Northwest Texas Health Care System said, “right now we’ve got 20 of our 21 MICU beds full of COVID-related patients. That’s challenging, we’re almost at capacity at that unit right now.”

BSA said they have 45 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, about half of those patients are in their ICU, and half of the patients in the ICU are on ventilators. The Chief Medical Officer for BSA, Dr. Michael Lamanteer says they still have significant ventilator capacity if they count their non-traditional ventilators.

“We’re working with our physician leaders, our intensive physicians, our hospitalists to come up with some revised protocols to allow us to manage recovering patients on the floor units more successfully,” said Dr. Lamanteer. “We’re about to initiate a protocol there where we can monitor patients outside the ICU as they’re improving.”

Wednesday is also National Nurse’s day and Dr. Weis had this to share during today’s COVID-19 briefing.

“Amazing efforts by our nurses, really extraordinary efforts,” said Dr. Weis. “We’re actually having nurses call in on their days off asking if they can come in and help with these particularly challenging patients. Again, incredible stuff from our nursing staff, just selfless service from our nurses.”

A representative from the VA hospital also spoke at today’s briefing. They said they have two positive cases hospitalized, and six other patients quarantining at home.

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