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Alabama sees more ICU beds open

Alabama’s hospitals are seeing more intensive care unit beds open.
Alabama’s hospitals are seeing more intensive care unit beds open.
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s hospitals are seeing more intensive care unit beds open.

On Saturday, the Alabama Hospital Association reported 1,549 staffed ICU beds across the state but 1,495 ICU patients. That means 54 ICU beds are available, if needed. The report excludes data from at least five hospitals.

The situation reached critical levels on Aug. 17 when, after more than a month of daily increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, patients began to outnumber designated ICU beds. That left medical facilities looking for other options, including treatment of ICU patients in emergency rooms or on gurneys in hallways.

For the first time in a month, the state climbed out of of a deficit for ICU beds Friday when the AHA reported the state had seven ICU beds available.

Hospitalizations are also down. According to AHA data, 2,059 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s down 111 from Friday.

During Friday’s press briefing, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said some of the decrease in hospitalizations is due to deaths.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 3,462 new cases Saturday. Over 768,000 total cases have been reported since the pandemic began.

The state reported 161 new deaths Saturday. Over 13,000 deaths have been reported since the start of the pandemic.

About 46% of ICU beds are filled with COVID patients, including 1 pregnant woman and 20 children.

Among adults currently hospitalized with COVID, 83% are unvaccinated, while 4% are partially vaccinated and 13% are vaccinated.

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