Public Health also reported 155 Covid deaths Thursday, among the highest numbers of virus fatalities recorded in a single day in the state. Georgia has the 10th-highest rate of new Covid infections over the seven days, but its daily virus death rate is fourth-highest, according to New York Times data. The state reported Thursday that 98 percent of the ICU beds in Georgia are filled. With beds filled and staffs stretched, hospital systems are cutting back on elective surgeries to concentrate on the Covid load. Grady Health System in Atlanta canceled all outpatient surgeries and procedures to deal with the continuing surge. Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare said it’s pausing elective surgeries at some locations.
That can worsen a patient backlog at hospitals. Instead of going home, the patients who won’t have off-site access to oxygen machines “have to be kept in the hospital,” said Anna Adams, a GHA executive. And while they stay hospitalized, these patients will be tying up resources that could be used for more acutely ill people, she added. The Georgia Hospital Association said Thursday that some of the state’s large hospitals with heavy Covid loads are having trouble obtaining the machines for patients ready to be discharged.
Medical resources continue to be strained across the state as the pandemic numbers hit alarming levels, driven by the contagious Delta variant. Hospital officials say a new shortage has emerged in Georgia: oxygen concentrators, which are devices that give a patient extra oxygen.
Hospitals have many licensed beds that can’t be used because of staffing shortages, he added. This surge also has brought a record rise in Covid infections and hospitalizations among children. “We’re overwhelmed,” said Jimmy Lewis, CEO of HomeTown Health, an association of rural hospitals in the state.
Staffing shortages, meanwhile, have helped make this Covid surge the worst of the four so far, hospital officials say. The Georgia Nurses Association calls the current nursing shortage the worst in the state’s history. One of every three patients now in Georgia hospitals has Covid.
The News Highlights
- From Georgia Health News: ‘Lack of New Devices, High Deaths Reported as Covid Wave Continues’
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