UAB hospitalizations remain challenging

UAB struggles with patient load

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB is continuing to struggle with the growing number COVID patients. As of Wednesday the hospital is treating 210 patients. That is down slightly from yesterday but the patient load still includes those who are not infectious with coronavirus any more but still need hospital care.

At UAB, like hospitals across Alabama, officials monitor the surge of COVID 19 patients.

“As of yesterday there were over 4,500 new cases of COVID 19 and unfortunately our state is at the highest rate of hospitalizations with over 3,000 documented yesterday,” Dr. Rachael Lee, of UAB Infectious Diseases said.

This included COVID convalescent patients, patients who are no longer infectious but they are not ready to go home.

“I see a lot of patients who are not infectious but still on the ventilator, who are still fighting for their lives and this is really the most heartbreaking thing for us. Really we are doing everything we can to get them home,” Lee said.

The hospital is managing the case load but it’s a challenge. Recovery rooms are not being used to keep patients. Various procedures that can be delayed are put off for weeks. Some transfer patients are also being delayed.

“We do reach a point where we can not easily accept transfers from other hospitals in the state. I know that has been true not only for us but other hospitals,” Anthony Patterson, UAB Hospital CEO said.

Patterson said transfers can be delayed a day or two. Elective procedures, cosmetic or knee surgeries are being delayed for weeks. They try to delay only a day or so for cancer and heart patients. There is growing concerns COVID numbers will continue to rise in the coming weeks.

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