turn off

If the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 does not decrease, Wisconsin is expected to run out of ICU beds in less than two weeks, and more importantly, provide them with nurses.

On Tuesday, when the state reported a record 5,200 people tested positive, only 187 of the state’s 1,469 intensive care beds were available. In the intensive care unit, 319 patients received treatment for COVID-19.

Bill Melms, chief medical officer of Marshfield Clinic Health System, said that given the trajectory of new cases, the number of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment may double within two to six weeks.

Memes said: “There is nothing magical about this mathematics.” “Each positive result increases the likelihood or likelihood of another patient being hospitalized.”

Hospitals across the state are already struggling to deal with the crisis, with exhausted staff taking over more shifts and working overtime. Some hospital systems have begun to arrange temporary nurses, including those who are out of the office, to fill shifts in the coming weeks.

In the final hospital, 4 out of less than 100 COVID-19 patients (about 3.5%). However, about a quarter of these patients require ICU care.

This means that of the more than 5,200 people who tested positive on Tuesday, an estimated 36 will eventually be admitted to the ICU — some of them may stay in the unit for several weeks.

It was only one day.

During the 7-day test, nearly 28,000 people tested positive. Therefore, 200 of these patients may need ICU care in the next few weeks. And there is no sign of slowing down the infection rate.

On Wednesday, the state reported 3,800 new cases and 45 deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,897. The positive rate in the last 7 days is the highest ever: 27.2%.

On Wednesday, 1,439 people in the state were hospitalized because of the virus, a record, including 339 intensive care unit patients-an increase of 20 from the previous day and a 6% increase in a single day.

To track COVID-19 in Wisconsin: View the latest figures and trends

How to interpret the COVID-19 data: Expert evaluation of positive cases, deaths and hospitalizations

“This is a real deal,” said Jeff Pothof, a physician and chief quality officer at UW Health. “We are now in very hot water in Wisconsin.”

UW Health, Marshfield Clinic and other health systems can add ICU beds. The challenge is staffing.

Pothof said: “Creating space is not that difficult.” “At this point, it is not difficult to obtain supplies. The biggest challenge is the people.”

The intensive care unit is composed of intensive care nurses who have received additional training.

“It is much easier to find and place non-ICU beds,” said Ken Nelson, Chief Nursing Officer of the Green Bay HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center.

Those hospitals have similar capacities.

Nelson said: “We are always planning where the next patient will go.”

This trend is also disturbing.

Nelson said: “We are keenly aware of the numbers that are released every day.”

Trying to maintain capacity

Field hospitals or other nursing facilities in West Allis State Fair Park can provide care for COVID-19 patients who require lower levels of care. (As of Wednesday, it has 6 patients.) That can vacate the bed in the hospital.

Hospitals have poor flexibility in using ICU beds. Other critically ill patients (such as those with a heart attack or stroke) need most of these beds.

Memes said: “We must maintain the capabilities of these people.”

Marshfield Clinic can now provide ICU beds. The focus is on the staff.

Melmes said: “This is our limiting factor.” “You give me unlimited employees, and I will feel much better in the next four to six to eight weeks.”

The Marshfield Clinic has mobilized nurses who can help intensive care nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU). The same is true for Aurora Health Care. The health system has hired temporary staff or so-called traveling nurses.

However, these nurses are in short supply.

Memes said: “Everyone is chasing them, they are as tired as everyone else.”

ICU nurses usually work three 12-hour shifts a week. Most people are working overtime. But this comes at a price.

UW Health’s Pothof said: “The employees are absolutely exhausted.” “They went all out in the past few months and then something like this happened. You can only work in shifts.”

Nurses providing care for COVID-19 patients must also wear masks and gowns throughout the shift.

“They are tired,” Memes said. “They are emotional. It’s not just physical. It’s emotional. We ask them to do a lot of things.”

Staff transfer, hire temporary nurses

Large medical systems (such as Aurora Healthcare) have moved staff to different hospitals.

“Right now, we are holding our ground,” said Mary Beth Kingston, chief nursing officer of advocate Aurora Health, which includes Aurora and operates 15 hospitals in the state.

The health system promised to provide services to 100 temporary or traveling nurses in November and December. And it has a contingency plan, and if necessary, ICU beds can be increased.

Kingston said: “I’m not saying we don’t care at all.” “We are very concerned.”

Currently, the health system has not stopped performing selective procedures, although they will rearrange some procedures so that they can be completed safely for patients.

In the spring, when the health system stops performing such procedures, no one knows exactly what will happen in the future, and there is a shortage of so-called personal protective equipment (such as gowns and masks).

The health system emphasizes that many patients, such as those planning cancer surgery or heart surgery, need care.

“You can’t postpone other things now,” said Nelson, the chief nursing officer of Green Bay Hospital’s Sister Health System Hospital. “Somewhat frustrated.”

Few of these patients require ICU care.

Some argue that the health system does not want to stop performing selective procedures because these procedures are usually one of the most profitable services.

Marshfield’s memories challenge this.

He said: “I will speak for everyone across the state. What we all are doing is, in any case, we put the needs of patients first.” “This is all for patients who need it. Nursing. End of story.”

The increase in cases has also frustrated doctors, nurses and other personnel.

Eric Borgerding, CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association, said: “Our health system cannot be unlimited support for COVID.” “We must start to take this issue more seriously and consistently. This is Really.”

This trend presents another challenge: the high infection rate means that hospital employees are more susceptible to the virus.

Memes said that the Marshfield Clinic has an estimated 12,000 employees, 10% of which are because they are infected with the COVID-19 virus or have contact with people who need to be isolated.

This risk is increasing every day.

Memes said: “I want to wake up and start to see the number of positive cases starting to decline in the state because then I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.” “Then at some point, we will start to see a decrease in the census Rather than increase in the census.

“Until we saw that there was no light at the end of the tunnel.”

John Fauber and Sophie Carson of Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

Read or share this story: https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/health-care/2020/10/29/crush-covid-19-cases-continues-wisconsin-eyes-shortage-icu- Coronavirus bed/ 6058257002/