Hospitalizations down statewide, but ICUs remain full

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 9:49 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The number of Mississippians being admitted to hospitals because of the virus is dropping. But that’s in comparison to the worst month of hospitalizations through the entire pandemic.

Sure, the hospitalizations are better but better doesn’t mean good. It’s better than the highest point of hospitalizations throughout the pandemic that the state experienced in August.

Director of Inpatient Nursing at King’s Daughters Medical Center describes it this way:

“Before this surge started, you know, we had that to where everybody had that relief, it’s over, it’s over, or it’s close to over,” described KDMC Director of Inpatient Nursing Jaymie Heard, DNP, RN, “And then we had this surge. And so now it’s kind of got us like gun shy.”

That was somewhat reinforced for him over the weekend when the numbers started creeping up again in his hospital.

“So it’s kind of like it had a lull, but it’s more of a spike again. So, you know, and this is, you know, all following Labor Day holidays is kind of like is that part of it? So we’re just kind of keeping our fingers crossed.”

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center says they haven’t been able to feel a break in the workload.

“There is a decrease in our COVID cases,” explained Brenda Howie, Mississippi Baptist Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer. “And we have seen it go down over the last couple of weeks. But the patients are still very, very sick. A lot of intensive care patients that are in the ICU and ICUs are full, we still have ED holds, and so it really, the workload has not decreased because of all the sick patients.”

And those patients aren’t rotating out of the ICU quickly.

“When you’re talking critically ill they’re sick for longer periods of time, we have seen that with this particular surge, where the patients are staying critically ill for longer periods of time,” added Howie.

The contract workers that were brought in by the state are helping alleviate some of the pressure on the still worn-out staff.

“So, last week was one of the first times I walked in the ICU and actually saw a couple of nurses actually have a half smile,” said Heard. “Because they had extra help you know, the extra help goes a long way.

Only one of four field hospitals that had been set up in Mississippi is still operating. And that one is only partially operating now. It’s the one at St. Dominic’s that’s relieving their emergency room and giving immediate referrals for monoclonal antibodies.

There’s also work being done by the state to extend the contracts for the out-of-state workers that were brought in to help at hospitals around Mississippi.

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