Hospital bed avails low, few COVID patients

Tuesday’s report on hospitalizations, intensive care unit and hospital bed availability from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will indicate that, while space may be at a premium, it’s likely not as due to COVID-19 as some may think.

The MSDH reports on the number of hospital beds as part of its daily update on coronavirus in the state of Mississippi.  Each hospital provides MSDH with a daily count on avails and what patients there are being treated for coronavirus.  

In Tuesday’s rundown of local hospitals Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven and Methodist Olive Branch Hospital, the facilities may have few numbers of beds available, but the number of patients there due to the coronavirus is not that high. 

Baptist-DeSoto has, according to MSDH, just 10 open hospital beds of its 192 total hospital beds on Tuesday. There are only 40 patients in the Southaven hospital there due to COVID-19, or just under 21 percent of its listed capacity.

The Tuesday update for Baptist-DeSoto showed no ICU beds available of the 36 inside the facility. However, of the 36 ICU patients when the count was made, seven were there suffering from coronavirus, or 19.4 percent.

There are 42 “staffed beds” at Methodist-Olive Branch and that hospital had 13 beds available when Tuesday’s daily count was made. Just four were confirmed coronavirus patients, or 9.5 percent.

Of 12 ICU beds at Methodist-Olive Branch, there was just one confirmed COVID-19 patient in that area and there were five available ICU beds.  

Hospital officials point out that the figures MSDH presents should only be considered a “snapshot” of a facility’s situation that day.  

“They change constantly as patients are admitted, moved to other units, and discharged,” wrote a spokeswoman for Baptist-DeSoto in an email statement. “We submit these numbers between 10-11 a.m. every morning, but we’re discharging patients throughout the day. We also want to make sure everyone knows we can still admit new patients and care for the patients in our hospital.”

The statement added that safety protocols continue to be followed to protect everyone at Baptist-DeSoto, considered a Level II hospital.

“We are separating COVID and non-COVID patients and wearing proper PPE at all times,” the statement read. “Although the pandemic has been a new challenge, we are well equipped to care for a large number of patients in our hospital at any time. We provide expert care in any situation, no matter how many patients are in our hospital.”

(Contact desotocountynews@gmail.com)

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