OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is shining a light on the strain COVID-19 is putting on its system right now.
Each day, they receive calls from other hospitals needing beds for patients and have to turn them away.
“We were full last year but it was different,” said Britini Humphreys, Manager of Patient Logistics. “We didn’t have this many patient requests coming in and we could usually make some capacity happen. This go-around there hasn’t been any capacity to make.”
Mercy’s ICU in Oklahoma City is completely full and has stayed full for several weeks.
On Thursday, officials at Mercy said 64% of the patients in ICU were fighting COVID-19.
This means if someone is hurt after something like a car wreck or has a medical emergency, they have nowhere to place them.
“There having to hold for long times in our ER,” Humphreys said. “Even the EMSA trucks are having to hold in our ER because we don’t have an ER bed to put them in and then they can’t be in our floors or our ICU, especially.”
They’re hoping preventable injuries are prevented.
“This meme’s been going around Facebook about people doing the “milk crate challenge” and it says, ‘stop doing the milk crate challenge, we don’t even have an ER bed for you.’ And you know, it’s funny for us but unfortunately, it’s the reality that we’re in right now,” said Humphreys.
They hope Oklahomans will help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Getting the vaccine and making sure that you’re taking care of yourself, taking proper precautions, just being smart so that you don’t end up in the hospital and don’t end up needing that bed,” Humphreys said.
The Oklahoma State Medical Association President Mary Clarke, M.D. issued this statement:
“While our hospitals are performing miracles every day, the fact remains that the strain on our healthcare system in Oklahoma has never been greater. We implore the public to protect themselves and help take pressure off our hospitals by following the three Ws (washing hands, watching your distance and wearing a mask) as well as getting the safe and effective COVID vaccine.”
On Friday, four Oklahoma City health systems provided a joint update on their COVID-19 numbers.
INTEGRIS Health says that it currently has 210 COVID-19 patients with 173 located in the metro. INTEGRIS Health has no available ICU beds.
Mercy says it has 118 patients with COVID-19 with 66 of those patients in Oklahoma City. Mercy has no available ICU beds and three patients waiting in the ER for an ICU bed.
OU Health has 42 COVID-19 patients and has no available beds for other COVID-19 patients.
SSM Health St. Anthony has 140 COVID-19 patients and has no available ICU beds.
Hospital authorities say these update will occur every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the foreseeable future.