Houston Moves COVID-19 Patients to Other Cities: 'We Don't Have Capacity'
With novel coronavirus cases in Texas approaching nearly 161,900, hospitals in Houston, the county seat of Harris County, are moving patients to facilities outside the city in a bid to cope with the surge in COVID-19-related cases and lack of beds.
Harris Health System, which operates Houston's Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Ben Taub Hospital, has transferred patients to the University of Texas Medical Branch in the cities of Galveston and Conroe as well as the Woodlands community in a scramble to find beds for patients, Houston's ABC13 reported.
Charlie McMurray-Horton, the associate administrator for clinical integration and transformation at Harris Health System, told ABC13: "We are actively trying to transfer out ICU [intensive care unit] and surge patients that are COVID positive and under investigation, just because we don't have the capacity to treat those patients.
"It really has intensified in the last month or so," McMurray-Horton said.
In the Houston area, currently there are 2,449 hospital beds and 183 ICU beds available, with 2,059 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients reported to be hospitalized, according to the latest report Tuesday by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Transfer times of patients transported by ambulance were reported to be taking significantly longer than usual over the past three weeks. On over 560 occasions, firefighters were reported to be holding patients in the ambulance for more than an hour, more three times longer than the normal transfer time of around 20 minutes, according to Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Pena ...
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