As coronavirus case numbers continue to rise in the state, bed shortages have become a problem for many hospitals.
Trinity Health in Minot is experiencing a bed shortage, and there are no other facilities to send its patients to. When beds are not available in the hospital, patients are put in the emergency room, and other hospitals are contacted to see if they have the space to accommodate them. The Trinity Health Emergency Trauma Center Director said recently, that hasn’t been an option.
“We found that no other hospital could take and care for our patients. That means those patients stack up and remain in our ER and then they have to wait until a bed opens up. Either at our hospital or another hospital,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sather.
Dr. Sather also says the pandemic isn’t just taking up beds. The hospital is also experiencing shortages of staff and workers who are trained to take care of critically ill patients.
“The general population doesn’t realize the struggles that healthcare workers are going through unless you or your family are one of those patients, getting transferred across the state 300 or more miles or laying on an ER gurney rather than a hospital bed for 24 hours or more,” said Dr. Sather.
In response to the recent spike in case numbers in Ward County, Trinity Health has tightened its visitor restrictions. They are also looking to bring in extra staff who may be retired or looking to come back into the healthcare field.