The highly infectious Delta variant of coronavirus has caused a rise in Covid-19 infections in Texas – resulting in more than 90 percent of ICU beds across Texas getting occupied, the Texas Department of Health has said. It reported that only 321 ICU beds are currently available for admission of the 30 million residents of the state.
Just 27 ICU beds are available in n Houston while Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital has built overflow tents to try and cater to the huge number of patient inflow.
“The ICUs are full. Every bed is accounted for, and in fact, we have patients waiting in our emergency center for ICU beds to open up… Some wait hours, some wait days, to be frank,” Dr. Kunal Sharma, Chief of Emergency Services at LBJ Hospital, said in a television interview.
The wait for patients is being exacerbated by the shortage of staff. Facing a need for 500 more nurses, Dallas Parkland Hospital, among the largest in the country, said that it had to divert some of the pregnant patients to other hospitals.
According to the Texas Department of Health, more than 10,000 Texans have been hospitalized with Covid-19 this week.
A recent report in the New York Times showcased two hospitals in Houston being forced to erect overflow tents outside of the hospital buildings because of the overflow of coronavirus patients this week. Almost no intensive care beds are available in hospitals in Austin while the rate of Covid-19 spread seen this week was unprecedented in at least the last seven months.
This has prompted health officials in Texas to warn of patient overloads straining hospitals and their resources – not seen since February this year with at least 53 hospitals functioning at their maximum capacity in their intensive care units.