Texas Medical Center removes 'unsustainable surge capacity' label from data charts as it approaches those levels

Laura Dyrda (Twitter) -

Texas Medical Center has revised the language used on its bed capacity and occupancy data as numbers hit levels previously described as "unsustainable surge capacity," according to a local ABC affiliate.

On June 24, the TMC two-week projection for bed occupancy growth, the report noted that if the average daily growth rate for COVID-19 patients at TMC continued, it would exceed its sustainable surge capacity by July 6. On July 8, the report notes that TMC reported reaching nearly the numbers that it warned about two weeks before, but instead labeled it as "Phase 2 Intensive Care Capacity."

TMC projected on the July 8 report that if the average daily growth occupancy for COVID-19 patients continued at the same rate, the hospital would move into Phase 3 Intensive Care by July 21. TMC reports it could add 813 intensive care beds in Phase 3.

In Phase 2, a spokesperson for the health system said TMC increased ICU staffing levels and ratios as well as prepared additional intensive care equipment. It has also deployed additional intensive care beds.

On July 8, the health system reported 1,394 ICU beds occupied, with 626 occupied by patients with COVID-19. By contrast, the Southern Texas Regional Advisory Council, which coordinates hospital use in the Houston area, reported there were 271 patients waiting for a hospital bed in emergency rooms around Houston, with 60 needing ICU beds. SETRAC also reported there are 72 available beds at Houston hospitals. The discrepancy could be due to staffing, as SETRAC reports beds that are staffed appropriately and able to treat patients.

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