Hospitals ‘busting at the seams’ with some emergency resources on the way

Miami-Dade County says over the past two weeks, hospitalizations are up 74%, ICU admissions are up 88% and ventilator use is up 123% thanks in large part to COVID-19.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Some have ER issues, some have ICU issues, some have staffing issues. And many South Florida hospitals are experiencing all of the above.

“We are busting at the seams in the emergency room. I’m busting at the seams inside the hospital. I’m busting at the seams in terms of the ICUs,” says Leah Carpenter, a nurse and CEO of Memorial West in Pembroke Pines.

On Friday, she shared the pulse inside her hospital.

“My ICU is beyond capacity,” she said. “We are at 106% of capacity at this moment. But I have the ability to expand as needed.”

Within the Memorial system, 92% of coronavirus patients treated to date have been discharged.

“My biggest challenging is staffing,” Carpenter said.

At Jackson Memorial Hospital, the lead ICU physician is worried about the future.

“Today we have enough capacity for ICU and ventilators,” Dr. David de la Zerda said. “But if we continue to see the spike of cases, we are going to be in a bad situation.”

The state is sending in 33 ICU nurses to provide relief at Jackson.

“We are really burned out,” de la Zerda said.

And at Broward Health?

“This wave that we are in now, the patients that are coming in now are not quite as sick as we experienced in the March-April time frame,” said Dr. Josh Lenchus. “The demographics are a little bit different. The patients coming in are a little bit younger. We have capacity in our COVID-dedicated ICU at this time.”

Miami-Dade County has released some startling numbers this afternoon. In the past 14 days, hospitalizations are up 74%, ICU admissions are up 88% and ventilator use is up 123%.

The director of emergency management for the state tweeted out he is securing 1,000 nurses to be deployed if needed.

About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.