Beaumont 'facing limitations and nearing capacity with our staffing' amid coronavirus outbreak

Beaumont Hospital doctor charged with embezzlement
Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 05:48:56-04

(WXYZ) — Beaumont Health says they have nearly 450 confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to their hospitals, and another 185 patients admitted with pending COVID-19 tests.

That's as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Beaumont says the number of patients coming in continues to increase each day, which is consistent with other hospital systems in Michigan. They say they still have ventilator capacity at this time, but that could change as more people become infected.

“We have been actively transferring COVID-19 patients within our system to other Beaumont hospitals, as appropriate, if one hospital has more capacity than another. However, across our system, we are facing limitations and nearing capacity with our staffing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and mechanical ventilators,” Beaumont Health Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Wilson said in a news release. “We are taking steps to increase our capacity, such as converting some of our operating rooms into intensive care units.”

Beaumont Health CEO John Fox added, “Given the way our health care system and others have needed to convert to primarily COVID-19 screening diagnosis and treatment in the past few weeks, we will soon be looking at the need for coordinating the care of acute COVID-19 patients across the region and beyond. This is why we have been discussing statewide coordination with other hospitals and MDHHS to care for COVID-19 patients. We also recognize some systems might not be caring for as many COVID-19 patients as others right now. All health systems in Michigan need to work together to help care for these patients. I am very pleased with the commitment all the hospital systems have expressed to work together to respond to the pandemic.”

Fox also said he, “supports the difficult, but key decisions Governor Whitmer has made recently to better contain the pandemic and enable the health care industry to respond.”

Fox again noted, at the same time, “Beaumont must continue to care for numerous patients who need medical care unrelated to COVID-19. People are still giving birth, having heart attacks and getting injured in auto accidents.”

Officials say Beaumont can internally process about 400 tests a day. However, they add few health systems have the capacity or ability to do the same amount of testing they can. They also say many third-party labs are backlogged.

“It should be noted, testing is not needed for everyone. Most people who contract COVID-19 do not need to be hospitalized. A positive test will not necessarily change the course of treatment for patients who have a mild case of COVID-19 that does not require hospitalization,” Beaumont Health’s medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology Dr. Nick Gilpin said.

Beaumont launched a coronavirus hotline, 800-592-4784, staffed by Beaumont nurses and employees to help patients evaluate their symptoms and determine whether they need to seek medical attention.

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