UMMC continues to serve patients despite ICU bed shortage

The University of Mississippi Medical Center, which is the largest hospital in the state of Mississippi, is running out of hospital beds due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 case numbers.

“We have been full for a couple of weeks,” UMMC Vice Chancellor Dr. LouAnn Woodward said. “This morning, we are about 25 beds oversubscribed with 15 of those being critical care beds, so that means 15 ICU patients are being taken care of somewhere else in the hospital.”

With all ICU beds in use, the medical center is having to utilize the emergency department and other specialist units in order to handle the surging hospitalization numbers.

“In this case today, most of them are in the ER but not all,” Woodward explained. “They are being taken care of outside of an ICU, waiting for that bed. In the last couple of weeks, that number (of oversubscribed hospitalizations) has been as high as 40 or 45. That’s a lot of patients.”

When asked how many of the occupied beds are COVID-19 cases, Woodward estimated “a fourth” are patients suffering from the coronavirus.

In the last month, Mississippi has seen one of the fastest growing coronavirus case rates in the nation as the state now stands at 5th in cases per capita. Today, the Magnolia State exceeded 1,000 in positive cases yet again.