Alabama’s ICU bed deficit balloons to 53 as COVID-19 surge continues

Alabama's ICU bed deficit has ballooned to 53, according to the Alabama Hospital Association.
Alabama's ICU bed deficit has ballooned to 53, according to the Alabama Hospital Association.(WBRC)
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The weekend offered little in the way of relief for Alabama’s overwhelmed hospitals. While the number of hospitalizations has remained relatively flat over the last four days, there are still more than 2,760 inpatients being treated, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 data dashboard.

The Alabama Hospital Association reports that of those hospitalized for COVID-19, 41 are pediatric patients, 850 are in the ICU and 540 are on ventilators.

The number of ICU beds continues to be a major problem. Per the hospital association, the state currently has 1,536 staffed ICU beds and 1,589 ICU patients. That means the state’s ICU bed deficit has ballooned to 53.

About 55% of all the state’s ICU beds are now filled by COVID-19 positive patients, the hospital association added.

Alabama COVID-19 statistics as of Aug. 23, 2021.
Alabama COVID-19 statistics as of Aug. 23, 2021.(Source: Alabama Department of Public Health)

The COVID-19 surge continues to be among the unvaccinated, whether the metric is cases, hospitalizations or deaths. The hospital association reported Monday that 84% of coronavirus hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated. Another 4% are partially vaccinated. Just 12% are fully vaccinated.

The Alabama Department of Public Health, in urging residents to roll up their sleeves, said Monday that since April 1 about 89% of all cases and 94% of all deaths have been among those who have opted not to get the shots.

More than 12,000 Alabamians have died since the pandemic was first reported in the state in March 2021.

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