Southern California ICU beds at 0% amid COVID-19 outbreak


The availability of intensive care unit beds across Southern California hit critical mass on Thursday, with 0% open, the latest sign of how the worst wave of the coronavirus is hammering hospitals and pushing systems health to their limits.
Although officials have noted that the number of available intensive care beds is constantly changing as new patients are admitted or stabilized, the number of unoccupied beds in California’s most populous region has gradually eroded as hospitals have eroded. been inundated by an unprecedented number of COVID-19 patients.

The availability of intensive care in Southern California – which the state defines as Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties – had been a meager 0.5% Wednesday before falling further. Thursday.

The San Joaquin Valley – which has hit 0% uptime in its intensive care units a few times in recent days, most recently on Wednesday – saw that number rise slightly on Thursday, to a still perilous 0.7%.

When an intensive care unit reaches 0% of its capacity, hospitals are likely to place patients in open beds elsewhere, such as in the emergency room.
department rooms. However, without the specialized training of critical care health professionals, the quality of care may decline and death rates may increase.

The percentage reflects the remaining share of the hospital’s typical intensive care capacity. Once these beds are full, the hospital goes into surge mode, which can accommodate 20% of its usual capacity.

“You hear we’re at 0%. that doesn’t mean we don’t have intensive care beds or staff at all. It means we are in a wave, ”Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday.

California opens now temporary field hospitals to help overflow patients. Field hospitals will treat non-ICU patients in places such as Costa Mesa, Porterville, Sacramento, Imperial and Orange County; more facilities are pending in Riverside, Richmond, Fresno, San Diego and San Francisco.

The number of people hospitalized in California for COVID-19 has broken records for 18 consecutive days. As of Tuesday, according to the most recent data available, 14,939 people across the state were in hospitals with coronavirus infections – more than six times the number comparable on Halloween.

Due to the delayed nature of the novel coronavirus, it may take two to three weeks for peak cases to trigger a corresponding increase in hospitalizations. When this happens, however, the consequences can be sudden and severe. State officials previously estimated that 12% of newly diagnosed coronavirus cases would likely require hospitalization, with 12% of those ultimately ending up in intensive care.

This means that the most recent record hospitalizations are not responsible for the skyrocketing number of new infections, a frightening prospect for hospitals and extensive healthcare workers in the state.

There were nearly 1,000 people with COVID-19 in intensive care units in LA County on Tuesday; According to forecasts, in early January there could be between 1,600 and 3,600 patients with COVID-19 in need of intensive care beds if the trends in transmission of the virus remain the same. There are only 2,500 intensive care beds licensed in LA County.

“There just aren’t enough trained staff to handle the volume of patients who are expected to come and need care,” Dr Christina Ghaly, county health services director, said on Wednesday. “Our hospitals are under siege and our model shows no end in sight.”

LA County hospitals are filling up like never before. Through much of September and October, around 100 patients per day with COVID-19 were newly admitted daily to LA County hospitals. Just before Thanksgiving, almost 300 new patients a day were admitted.

Today, there are around 600 new COVID-19 patients who need to be hospitalized daily, and officials expect that number to increase from 750 new COVID-19 patients per day to 1,350 per day. ‘here on New Years Eve.

“If the numbers continue to rise as they have, I’m concerned that we will run out of capacity within our hospitals,” said Dr Denise Whitfield, associate medical director of the Medical Services Agency. County Emergency and Emergency Physician at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance. “And the level of care that every Los Angeles County resident deserves can be threatened just by the fact that we are overwhelmed.”

The surge in coronavirus cases continues to reach record proportions. For the first time, a county-by-county count from the Los Angeles Times revealed more than 50,000 new cases of coronavirus and nearly 400 reported deaths in California in a single day. The Times investigation on Wednesday evening found 51,724 new coronavirus cases reported in one day, breaking the state’s one-day record set on Monday when 42,088 cases were reported.

The Times tally also revealed 393 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday across California, breaking the record set on Tuesday when 295 deaths were recorded. Cumulatively, California has now reported 1.7 million coronavirus cases and 21,887 COVID-19 deaths.

The state now records an average of 203 COVID-19 deaths per day over a weekly period and 35,200 cases daily – both records, and both quadruple the numbers as of mid-November.


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