Oregon, Washington hospital beds in short supply amid heat wave

Hospitals in Oregon and Washington are facing critical capacity constraints amid a record-breaking heat wave. 

In Oregon, Portland hospitals have recorded 506 heat-related emergency department and urgent care visits since June 25, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Half of those visits were recorded on June 28 alone.

The visits have left beds at hospital systems in critically short supply. Oregon Health Authority officials are asking residents to use primary care services for nonurgent heat-related illnesses.

"Hospital capacity in all metro-area facilities remains limited. Statewide, other systems are also reporting similar surge demands that have strained EMS systems," according to the health authority. 

In Washington state, there have been 1,384 emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses reported since Friday, a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Health told The New York Times June 29. The spokesperson said this is the most heat-related injuries he's seen in more than 10 years.

One hospital in Washington was forced to transfer patients amid an air conditioner outage. Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth canceled nonemergency appointments and transferred its acute care patients to different facilities June 28, according to a hospital Facebook post. 

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