Patients could wait days for a hospital bed in Southern California

Amid the latest COVID-19 surge fueled by the omicron variant, some Southern California hospitals are facing a bottleneck in their ability to move patients treated in the emergency room to a hospital bed, the Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 20.

In certain instances, the process could take a day or two, according to the newspaper.

Multiple factors are at work. Staffing shortages are a challenge at hospitals and health systems throughout the U.S., particularly as employees are out sick with COVID-19. Nursing homes are also facing staffing issues, affecting the number of hospital transfer requests they can accommodate.

"If you can't get people out of the hospital, then it makes it hard to get them into the hospital because the beds are blocked," Scott Evans, CEO of La Mesa, Calif.-based Sharp Grossmont Hospital, told the Los Angeles Times. "I think that people are underestimating the sheer amount of volume that hospitals are experiencing."

New daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the U.S. have risen 42 percent over the last two weeks, with California seeing a 101 percent increase during that period, according to HHS data tracked by The New York Times. Additionally, the week of Jan. 8, California was averaging close to 47,000 visits in its emergency rooms daily for all reasons, compared with about 32,000 a year earlier, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing data from the California Department of Public Health.

Some hospitals have postponed some surgeries and procedures to ease staffing strain.

Read the full Los Angeles Times report here.  

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars