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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: 110592

Reported Deaths: 3171
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7731171
DeSoto655177
Harrison478481
Jackson429178
Rankin380086
Madison371092
Lee339279
Forrest292777
Jones281682
Washington250697
Lafayette241342
Lauderdale2329130
Lamar212038
Bolivar197775
Oktibbeha194154
Neshoba1795111
Lowndes173662
Panola164736
Leflore158786
Sunflower156749
Warren151854
Monroe143672
Pontotoc143019
Pike135555
Lincoln133954
Copiah133336
Marshall130026
Coahoma122836
Scott122729
Grenada119637
Simpson117648
Yazoo116933
Union113825
Holmes113060
Tate112339
Leake111839
Itawamba108724
Pearl River107456
Adams104042
Prentiss100919
Wayne97921
Alcorn94412
George93217
Marion92642
Covington90825
Tippah84820
Newton84227
Chickasaw81724
Tallahatchie81725
Winston81421
Tishomingo78640
Hancock76527
Attala76325
Clarke70948
Clay66621
Jasper66016
Walthall63427
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith57716
Claiborne53016
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence48914
Yalobusha47914
Perry47522
Carroll45812
Greene44717
Stone44614
Amite41513
Quitman4096
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39311
Webster36313
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31615
Benton3004
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26210
Franklin2283
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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