TULSA, Oklahoma. – As COVID cases continue to rise in Oklahoma due to the omicron variant, hospitals are concerned about the capacity.
The OSU Medical Center chief of staff told 2 News they were feeling about the same, if not worse, pressure than previous COVID outbreaks.
“It may seem like everything is back to normal and this is our new normal, but it doesn’t feel right here at OSU Medical Center,” said Dr Chuck Thurman, OSU Medical Center Chief of Staff.
OSU Medical Center reports it is at full capacity with 30 COVID patients. This causes problems in the emergency room.
“We are waiting in the emergency room. This means people who wait for a room and can’t get one and it can go from a shift to a second shift, several hours of waiting, ”Dr. Thurman said. “It’s not typical for our hospital to have this. Usually we have very good performance.
The difference in this increase from previous ones is that more staff are leaving their jobs.
“Our regular staff may have to work an additional 55 to 60 shifts,” said Dr. Thurman.
Besides the understaffing, the hospital also does not have enough testing supplies with only a 2-3 day supply.
“We don’t even have enough tests to test universally like we would have done before,” he said. “We need to keep it to only test those that doctors order testing.”
While many people are tired of hearing about the pandemic, Dr Thurman says it’s not over yet.
“We just need to refocus our efforts for the good of all of us and support our health care there,” Dr Thurman said.
He says you can support healthcare workers by taking preventative measures, getting vaccinated, and recalling.
2 News verified with other hospitals in Tulsa.
Hillcrest says they’ve seen an increase in COVID hospitalizations, but that’s not the majority of what they’re seeing. They say their capacity issues are a mix of COVID and other conditions.
Saint Francis tells 2 News that very little has changed since their update last week, when they started using the patient lanes. Ascension Saint John was unable to comment.
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