- Addition of beds and staff done to accommodate the increasing COVID-19 cases
- Clark County fire chief claims hospital occupancy isn’t high enough to activate a US Army Corps of Engineers plan
- Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the addition of 441 staffed beds with 49 more announced by the Nevada Hospital Association
- As of Wednesday, the state’s public hospital had its intensive care unit 95% occupied
- More than 35,700 people tested positive with over 640 deaths reported in Nevada
With the surging number of COVID-19 cases in Las Vegas, officials say that the area hospitals are adding more staff and beds to counter the crisis.
Speaking to Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Steinbeck, Clark County Fire Chief, claimed that hospital occupancy wasn’t high enough to activate a US Army Corps of Engineers plan developed in April that would see the use of the Las Vegas Convention Center to accommodate about 900 patients.
However, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Clark County hospitals had as of Thursday, added 441 staffed beds. The Nevada Hospital Association, on the other hand, reported that an additional 49 beds had been added across other parts of Nevada.
Dan McBride, chief medical officer for the Valley Health System, said that there was no danger of the medical facilities in the region being overrun. Valley Health currently operates six hospitals. However, McBride acknowledges that the situation might change quickly.
According to Mason VanHouweling, University Medical Center chief executive, the hospital added 87 beds. The hospital has increased the age in its children’s hospital to 21 with the maternity ward housing regular patients to free up more space. The post-surgical and intermediate-level care areas have also been converted and this time, they serve as ICU spaces. The emergency department is also coming to the rescue with some patients kept there overnight.
VanHouweling did not ever see this happening during his health care career. But he says his team is well equipped to handle the situation. ‘Our team has made it very safe and have all the right equipment and staffing, and it’s helping us manage through these times.’ He said.
State of the ICU
As of Wednesday, the state’s public hospital had its intensive care unit 95% occupied. One in three of the patients in the ICU is diagnosed with coronavirus.
Mason VanHouweling who spoke to Las Vegas Review-Journal stated that the overall occupancy at the University Medical Center stood at 76% which is slightly higher than peak flu season during the fall and winter seasons in the region.
According to hospital association data, almost 9 out of 10 intensive care unit beds were occupied last week in Las Vegas.
As it stands, Nevada has confirmed over 35,700 positive coronavirus cases with over 640 deaths reported, at the time of writing.
For many people, the COVID-19 virus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as cough and fever that clears in about two to three weeks. However, the virus can bring more severe illnesses especially to older adults and those living with existing health problems. Among the illnesses include pneumonia and in other cases, death.