COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hospital bed capacity throughout Ohio fell to a new lowest low.
Eye on Ohio reported 733 available Med/Surg (regular) beds across the state on Oct. 8, which is 97 less than what was reported seven days prior.
Health care workers inside the state’s intensive care units also experienced a shrinkage in capacity.
According to Lucia Walinchus, executive director for Eye on Ohio, the number of available ICU beds for the week of Oct. 4 slid between 497 and 167 on Oct. 8.
The previously lowest low was set on Oct. 1 when the state experienced 184 available ICU beds on Oct. 1.
Walinchus said patients may be receiving new treatments as they fight their COVID-19 infection, which may mean people are staying in the hospital for longer periods of time, but ultimately recovering.
“The good news is we’re seeing fewer hospitalizations. We’re seeing fewer people with the virus, but unfortunately, that’s just not translated to hospital capacity. We hit a new lowest low last week. We’re looking at beds that showed unfortunately that they’re down to their lowest level ever. We’re looking at a bunch of different causes for that. These are only staffed beds. We’re running up against a labor shortage and there’s also just a lot of doctors and nurses who’ve been burned out,” she said.
According to Eye on Ohio, COVID-19 infections account for 19.41% of all ICU admissions.
Eye on Ohio fought the state for access to the number of available hospital beds and other equipment related to COVID-19. The organization filed a lawsuit in the Court of Claims of Ohio to obtain the requested information.
In November 2020, Judge Patrick M. McGrath ruled the Ohio Department of Health must provide that data.
Click here to view the latest data from Eye on Ohio.
Eye on Ohio: Ohio Center for Journalism has tracked the number of available Med/Surg [regular] hospital beds as well as the number of beds within intensive care units throughout Ohio since the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.