Intensive care units in Alabama were almost fully busy on Monday amid a continuing surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
The state has 1,562 intensive care beds, but 1,560 intensive care patients were hospitalized on Monday, according to Dr. Don Williamson, a former government healthcare professional who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association.
“This is the biggest need for an intensive care system we have ever had,” Williamson said.
Intensive care units in the hardest-hit areas of the state are overcrowded or overcrowded. There are 22 locations in the Birmingham area.
Alabama is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, fueled by the highly contagious delta variant and low state vaccination rates. The number of cases and hospitalizations is rapidly approaching what it was at the winter peak of the pandemic.
COVID-19 patients made up 48% of Alabama ICU patients on Monday, Williamson said. 759 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care, compared with a record 848 at the winter peak of the pandemic.
“We’re at a very serious stage right now as our community is running out of testing supplies, our three emergency rooms have a long wait time, and our COVID Infusion Center is open 12 hours a day, seven days a week,” John said. Atkinson, spokesman for East Alabama Medical Center.
“Hospitals cannot keep up with this pace — resources are being depleted and patient care staff is sorely lacking,” Atkinson said.
There were 2,631 COVID-19 patients in public hospitals on Monday, a figure fast approaching a record 3,087 COVID-19 patients in public hospitals in January.
The vast majority of hospitalized patients with the virus are not vaccinated. Williamson said 85% of hospitalized patients are not vaccinated, 12% are fully vaccinated and 3% are partially vaccinated. He said the numbers are based on responses from hospitals, and more than 80% of patients were vaccinated.
There were 57 patients at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelic Monday afternoon. According to the hospital, 46 of them are not vaccinated, eight are fully vaccinated and three are partially vaccinated.