Stillwater Medical Center’s intensive care unit is at capacity, according to data from its official website.
The hospital is using all seven of its ICU beds, 15 of 16 COVID unit beds and 38 of 55 medical beds. In the COVID unit, all three three ICU beds and 12 of 13 non-ICU are currently being used. The data graphic also announced that surge capacity expansion has been implemented.
“It’s not very often that we’re at capacity at all,” said Stillwater Medical’s public relations director Shyla Eggers. “For some reason during this crazy pandemic, we’re seeing a lot of other patients that are extremely ill. We do think there are people that have neglected their own healthcare in fear of COVID. They don’t want to go to a provider, they don’t want to go to a hospital so when they do finally get here, some of them are extremely ill because they’ve neglected other symptoms.”
These new numbers showed a significant increase in both units since last Thursday’s report. In that report, the hospital reported three of seven ICU beds in use, six of eight COVID unit beds in use and 49 of 55 medical beds in use.
Eggers said that because of the surge in ICU and COVID unit bed capacity, the hospital is focused on planning for future improvements.
“We spent most of the weekend and almost all day today, we have further plans in place,” Eggers said. “I will tell you that it’s not about physical bed space, it’s about staff to take care of them. So we have implemented what we call our ‘code green’ staffing plan, which is what I would say is like an all call to all of our employees. We have three hospitals, Stillwater Medical, Blackwell, Perry, we also have about 40 other locations. And in those locations we have CNA’s and RN’s and LPN’s working in those locations that may not be working at the bedside right now, but are trained to do so.”
Stillwater Medical, which is adjacent to Oklahoma State University, also plays a role in the university’s future.
According to a university document obtained by The O'Colly in August, a potential switch to online classes "will be determined by the rate of increase of number of infections per day, number of hospitalizations per day, rate of decrease in availability of hospital beds, ICU beds."
Despite the recent hospitalizations, the university remains committed to its original plans.
"We continue to monitor the rate of increase in infections and hospitalizations in the Stillwater community," said OSU director of media relations Monica Roberts. "While hospitalizations have increased, the overall substantial decrease in new and active cases along with the reduced need for our quarantine spaces are indications the local situation may be improving. OSU continues to consult with local and state health officials in all of our decisions related to the ongoing pandemic."
Both OSU and Stillwater Medical confirmed that the two are in constant communication about the current pandemic situation. Eggers added that despite active cases slightly improving, Stillwater residents need to remain vigilant in keeping others safe.
“We need people to take it seriously,” Eggers said. “We need people of all ages to take it seriously. If you’re an asymptomatic young person and you’re working somewhere, or you’re going to visit your grandparents or you’re going to church, you’re possibly exposing people without even knowing that you are… We want everything to go back to normal as much as possible, but everyone’s got to do their part to have that happen.”
The official COVID-19 dashboard recorded 300 active cases of COVID-19 in Stillwater on Monday, with 1,885 total, 1,585 recoveries and four deaths.