Mississippi's five largest hospitals are out of ICU beds

Mississippi’s five largest hospitals are reporting they have no Intensive Care Unit beds available because of coronavirus patients.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 3:01 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2020 3:01 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's five largest hospitals had no Intensive Care Unit beds available for patients as of Wednesday because of a surge in coronavirus cases, officials reported Thursday. An additional four hospitals had five percent or less available.

“I was woken up by a phone call yesterday morning at 4 a.m. because we had so many patients at our hospital, we didn’t know where to put them,” Vice Chancellor of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Alan Jones said Thursday.

Mississippi has one of the fastest-growing rates of new coronavirus cases in the country. One county, Grenada, saw a 22% increase in reported cases from last week to this week. Simpson County saw an 18% increase.

Compounding that, Mississippi also is one of the states with the fewest health care resources in the country, and hospitals are already stretched thin, a panel of medical officials said at a news conference Thursday. On June 15, the Mississippi Department of Health was reporting 467 patients hospitalized for the coronavirus. Just a few weeks later, on Thursday the state reported 686 confirmed coronavirus patients were hospitalized and 255 suspected coronavirus patients.

"Our biggest medical institutions, who take care of our sickest patients, have no room,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said.

This shortage has impacted facilities’ ability to not only care for patients with the virus but other emergency patients as well. The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson is the only hospital in the state that cares for major trauma victims and transplant patients, for example. UMMC emergency care doctor, Ustav Nandi, said the hospital is no longer able to accept transfers of patients from other hospitals who are suffering from ailments such as strokes or heart attacks.

“We are gravely concerned," Nandi said. "While I know COVID-19 is on the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, other diseases have not taken a backseat during this pandemic. We want to be there so that we can take care of our patients when they come in for emergencies: heart attacks, strokes, sepsis, trauma, other infections.”

Dobbs said facilities have begun sending patients out of state for care.

“There are already medical harms happening now, people with adverse health outcomes because they can't access the healthcare they need because they can't get to a hospital,” he said.

Dobbs said he only expects the situation to get worse. As the number of cases has risen, demand for testing has increased. Two months ago, 150 people a day were making appointments to be tested at the Department of Health's free testing site. On Wednesday, the state tested 875 people.

Mississippi consistently ranks as one of the lowest states in national evaluations of healthcare access and outcomes.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 70930

Reported Deaths: 2043
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5852126
DeSoto383233
Harrison271036
Madison252172
Jackson243047
Rankin238241
Jones196562
Forrest188957
Washington177146
Lee165742
Lauderdale148196
Neshoba132095
Lamar126518
Bolivar118940
Warren116637
Oktibbeha115739
Lowndes112140
Panola110818
Sunflower110128
Lafayette104321
Scott102521
Copiah98029
Leflore97169
Pike96638
Holmes93850
Yazoo88214
Pontotoc8769
Grenada86326
Lincoln86244
Monroe85855
Simpson84232
Leake81127
Coahoma81013
Wayne80521
Tate76030
Marshall75710
Union75017
Marion69821
Adams65528
Covington65015
Winston64417
George6269
Pearl River58440
Newton57512
Tallahatchie56311
Attala54425
Walthall52122
Chickasaw50219
Prentiss47510
Noxubee47212
Tishomingo4639
Alcorn4475
Calhoun4309
Tippah42614
Hancock41915
Smith41913
Jasper41610
Itawamba41410
Claiborne41114
Clay41114
Tunica3708
Clarke35928
Montgomery3558
Lawrence3408
Yalobusha32010
Humphreys30912
Quitman2751
Greene26713
Carroll26411
Webster25413
Jefferson Davis2526
Perry2518
Kemper24614
Amite2446
Stone2356
Wilkinson23114
Sharkey2147
Jefferson1978
Benton1591
Franklin1422
Choctaw1384
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 102196

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13682262
Mobile10836223
Montgomery7009153
Madison558135
Tuscaloosa437880
Unassigned411368
Baldwin379129
Shelby341437
Marshall321438
Lee273547
Morgan245720
Etowah221934
DeKalb187014
Calhoun186719
Elmore178939
Walker158466
Houston149313
Limestone140713
Russell13982
St. Clair138820
Dallas134925
Franklin131522
Cullman125212
Colbert124318
Lauderdale121920
Autauga119622
Talladega110314
Escambia109917
Jackson10914
Tallapoosa88379
Dale86329
Chambers85238
Blount8485
Chilton8439
Clarke83010
Coffee7926
Butler77936
Covington76321
Pike7187
Marion59426
Barbour5906
Marengo57817
Lowndes57624
Bullock49411
Hale49026
Bibb4655
Washington46113
Winston45911
Perry4524
Wilcox44510
Monroe4276
Pickens42010
Randolph40511
Conecuh39810
Sumter37119
Lawrence3643
Macon34415
Crenshaw3398
Cherokee2938
Choctaw29212
Clay2785
Geneva2742
Henry2733
Greene25611
Lamar2372
Fayette2345
Cleburne1311
Coosa1063
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