The latest U.S. COVID-19 wave is taking its toll on some states’ intensive-care units, with several parts of the country seeing outbreaks that are as bad as ever.
In 15 states, patients with confirmed or suspected COVID are taking up more ICU beds than a year earlier, according to Department of Health and Human Services data. Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan have 41%, 37% and 34% of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, respectively, the data show. In some areas, COVID patients are filling ICU beds as much as ever before
The dramatic uptick means there’s proportionately less space in hospitals for those suffering from other potentially deadly ailments.
“Many of our physicians are at a breaking point,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor with the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “It’s not easy to be day in and day out in an emergency room, in an ICU, looking at someone who is dying because he or she is not vaccinated.”