Full ICU at Missouri Delta Medical Center, workers scramble to keep up with COVID-19 surge

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - It’s all hands on deck for health care workers at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston.

The current COVID-19 surge has them scrambling to keep up.

Some nurses said they’ve almost reached their breaking point.

“The COVID affects the entire hospital,” Sam Stephenson said.

Especially now, because nurse Sam Stephenson said all 12 of Missouri Delta Medical Center’s ICU beds are full.

The majority of those patients are COVID-19 positive.

“We still are, of course, seeing other very sick people which you start to see this time of the year going into the respiratory fall season,” Eric Slaughter said.

Infection Prevention Nurse Eric Slaughter said that’s causing them to make more room.

“We have flex beds we open; we have a holding area that we open and make additional ICU beds. We flex other units in the hospital, we work very hard and closely with our doctors to transfer patients off of units and make beds,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter said the additional beds help, but don’t solve all the hospital’s problems because they continue to be short-staffed.

“It’s just a really rough time for the hospital, our staff are overrun. They’re tired and it’s just getting to the point of breaking. We’re having to bring in travelers from all over the country just to basically have the patients be taken care of,” he said.

Stephenson described the COVID-19 patients they’re seeing right now.

“Younger patients, younger and younger, are being admitted to the ICU and they’re there for longer periods of time,” Stephenson said.

Both Slaughter and Stephenson encourage everyone to get vaccinated to decrease their chances of catching COVID-19 and taking up one of these beds.

“The only thing we can really control is our own actions, so if everybody would do their part, it would really help us,” Slaughter said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, we’re told Saint Francis Healthcare System and SoutheastHEALTH have ICU beds available, but those numbers are always changing.

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