Hospitals near capacity, ThedaCare warns

Hospitals near capacity, ThedaCare warns

COVID-19 patients are putting a strain on hospitals, around the state. New data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association shows less than six percent of intensive care unit beds are available.

One Fox Valley health care system is, once again, sounding the alarm.

Tuesday morning, ThedaCare announced its hospitals are nearly full, in the midst of the recent surge in COVID-19.

“We are facing a serious surge in COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, and we need our communities’ help to change course and get infections under control,” Dr. Imran A. Andrabi, ThedaCare president and CEO, said in a news release. “ThedaCare team members are prepared to care for an increased number of COVID patients. We have the technology, the skills and knowledge. We are asking our friends and neighbors to rally again, get vaccinated, take COVID-safe precautions and support each other.”

Disheartened and disappointed – that’s how Dr. Andrabi looked Tuesday, after giving an update on where his healthcare system currently stands.

“As of this morning, I will tell you that ThedaCare only has two ICU beds available and, really, no medical surgical beds that are available, in the end, if you may,” Andrabi said.

As COVID cases continue to rise, due to the more contagious and more severe Delta Variant, Theda, as well as other health systems in the state, are seeing an increase in patients.

“I mean, you know, more than half of a floor of the entire hospital is occupied by people with COVID-19,” emergency physician for Bellin Health, Dr. Brad Burmeister said.

While Belin Health prefers not to share specific numbers, because they say figures fluctuate by the day and sometimes by the hour, they did share this statement with FOX 11:

We are continuing to manage a high hospital census while providing care for all who need it. The vast majority of our COVID inpatients are unvaccinated and we continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine as soon as they can. Our number of COVID-positive inpatients has increased significantly in the last couple of months but remains well below our peak last fall.

For healthcare systems, like ThedaCare, this is like déjà vu– they’ve been here before. But now, a variety of different issues is now making an already-impossible situation even worse.

“I think we are worse off this time around, to tell you the truth,” said Andrabi.

And not having enough beds isn’t the problem.

“I have beds,” Andrabi said. “I just don’t have the people to take care of people.”

Healthcare systems are seeing a worker shortage and burnout. For Theda, we’re talking about 200 workers short.

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