Local Area Hospitals Near ICU Capacities

UAB Medicine Facebook Page

Hospitals across the Birmingham area are being stretched as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to rise.

As of Thursday, more than 2,400 COVID patients were hospitalized across the state. About 25% of those hospitalizations were in Jefferson and Shelby counties, according to Dr. Jade Brice, chief medical officer at Shelby Baptist Medical Center.

This is leading some hospitals to limit elective and specialized surgeries that require hospital stays. 

UAB Hospital has 219 ICU beds, many of which are for specialized surgeries like neurology and cardiology, according to Anthony Patterson, CEO of UAB Hospital. As of Friday, 174 of the ICU beds were full with COVID-19 patients

“What that does is it compromises our ability to have specialized units where we can do specialized surgeries or procedures,” Patterson said.

Strains on ICU beds extend beyond UAB Hospital. Representatives from other area hospitals like Ascension St. Vincent’s, Grandview Medical Center and Shelby Baptist Medical Center say their hospitals are also being forced to make adjustments.

“Two days ago we received final certificate of occupancy for a seven-bed ICU addition at St. Vincent’s Birmingham, so we are having to adapt,” said Chris Moore, chief nursing officer for Ascension St. Vincent’s.

“We’re daily and hourly looking at ways to improve our bed capacity,” said Dr. Jeremy Rogers, an emergency physician at Grandview Medical Center. “We perform a daily juggling act with beds … The next two weeks are going to be critical for us.”

More Coronavirus Coverage

Erasing The Stain: 15,000 Pardoned Of Marijuana Possession Convictions

Mayor Randall Woodfin plans to pardon more than 15,000 Birmingham residents convicted of marijuana possession.

Jefferson County Nears Deal For New Humane Society

The plan is for Jefferson County to purchase lots one and two of the property, which would remain under county ownership. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society would purchase lot three and build an animal hospital and adoption control facility there.

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty Of George Floyd’s Murder

Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, has been found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Past And Present Collide As Community Health Centers Strive To Close Rural Care Gaps In The Pandemic

Many rural health leaders believe community health centers, which were born in the 60s to reach low-income communities of color, were a missing piece in achieving equity in the vaccine rollout.

Birmingham Sets Up Civilian Board to Review Police Misconduct

The five-member board will have the authority to investigate citizen complaints and will have some subpoena powers to aid those investigations.

Big Union Loss At Amazon Warehouse Casts Shadow Over Labor Movement

Last week's overwhelming vote against forming a union at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse was the latest in a string of disappointments for labor unions. Now Amazon employees and union backers are trying to find a way forward.

More Coronavirus Coverage