‘It’s bad’: Patients put in hallways as Florida hospitals fill up, report says

National

FILE: Blood is taken from a patient at the University of Miami Hospital’s Emergency Department. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Capacity issues are continuing to plague Florida hospitals as the surge of COVID-19 patients puts a strain on staff and resources.

In a report by Buzzfeed on Friday, a paramedic out of Sumter County, Florida, said issues have escalated to the point where hospital patients had to be put in hallways and waiting rooms.

“It’s bad right now,” 39-year-old Stew Eubanks told BuzzFeed. “We’re stacking patients in the hallways, stacking patients in the waiting room.”

Eubanks told Buzzfeed that usually, his calls would be minor situations, but now, it’s mostly severe cases. In the Villages, the retirement community he serves, there’s been an increase of patients who were sicker than others before. The Villages is considered the largest retirement community in the country, according to The New York Times.

Data released by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on Monday showed that 83.9% of 251 Florida hospitals’ inpatient beds are in use. About 28% of those were being used for COVID-19 cases.

When it comes to intensive care unit patients, the data shows even more of the problem caused by the delta variant surge. More than half of the ICU beds in the reporting hospitals were being taken up by COVID-19 patients, with only about 7.8% of the ICU beds being available.

Last Thursday, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Florida had more cases within the past week than the 30 states with the lowest case rates. Zients also said Florida and Texas made up about 40% of the new hospitalizations in the United States.

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