Banner ICUs Now As Full As During Last Summer's COVID-19 Surge
In a press conference Wednesday, Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Marjorie Bessel said ICUs are now as full as they were during last summer's peak surge.
But fewer ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Only 30% of patients in Banner ICUs have COVID-19, compared to 50-60% last summer.
Bessel said many of those patients have medical conditions that worsened when the pandemic delayed necessary procedures.
She added that Banner hospitals remain open to both COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.
"So anybody who's out there as a patient or a family member with somebody who's ill, we urge you to go ahead and seek the care that you need and know that we will be available for you," Bessel said.
That could change if coronavirus patients again overwhelm hospitals.
"As we would like to very much avoid, if our COVID patients overwhelm our healthcare systems, there may come a point where we have to reduce or cut back on other services such as ambulatory services or patients that have planned elective surgeries," said Bessel.
Bessel urges people to get vaccinated and to take appropriate precautions to ensure that doesn't happen.