Cullman Regional Hospital ICU at 180% of capacity; highest in the state

Cullman Regional at highest capacity in the state

CULLMAN, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama is now in the top 10 when it comes to states reporting the highest number of weekly COVID-19 cases.

An intensive care unit in Cullman County is at the highest capacity rate in the state.

Nurses and doctors have their hands very full right now. Dr. William Smith tells me this is by far the most pressure they’ve felt throughout the entire pandemic.

83 COVID inpatients, 20 on ventilators and an Intensive Care Unit at 180 percent capacity; these are the numbers healthcare workers at Cullman Regional Hospital are dealing with right now.

“The past six weeks have been more or less devastating and just getting worse.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr. William Smith says his staff is really feeling the pressure.

“We’ve been dealing with it, I think fairly well. But it’s really taken its toll. The staff is tired. Emotionally they’re very stressed. And lately with the increase of cases we’re seeing people that work here have more and more friends and family that are getting admitted to the hospital with COVID,” Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith says the chance of survival once a patient is put on a ventilator drops dramatically.

But he brought up some uplifting news as well.

“We have survivors, we have people that have survived. The last thing we’d want to do is take away hope, but we don’t want to sell short the severity of the illness and the seriousness of it,” Smith said.

Dr. Smith says his biggest hope is all Alabamians will unite and recognize the severity of the situation.

“I feel like a lot of people are not really respectful of just how serious it is. Maybe it’s because it hadn’t touched them personally. It’s a shame they cant come tour our ICU and talk to some of the families that are touched by this,” Dr. Smith said.

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