Officials: Valley health care system ‘in a state of paralysis’


The Fresno County Division of Public Well being and native hospital authorities collectively expressed a notice of urgency concerning the Central Valley well being care system on Friday.

About 44% of Fresno County is absolutely vaccinated, shining an ever-brighter mild on the unvaccinated who make up the vast majority of rising hospitalizations within the county. 

Dr. Tom Utecht, chief medical officer for Fresno-based Neighborhood Well being System, mentioned the Neighborhood hospitals in Fresno and Clovis are at capability.

“We’re at virtually a tipping level right here,” he mentioned. “We’re utterly at capability, in reality, over capability at our amenities.”

Each Clovis Neighborhood Medical Middle and Neighborhood Regional Medical Middle presently sit at greater than 100% capability, which suggests persons are being handled in areas that aren’t designated for affected person care — convention rooms and shelled out development areas. 

Though the Covid numbers usually are not as excessive because the winter months, hospitalization charges are a lot greater now, he mentioned. That is sophisticated by the truth that staffing ranges are operating skinny, and people left on workers face burnout.

“It’s a scarcity throughout the state and the nation, and meaning we’re in a catastrophe mode at this level,” Utecht mentioned. 

Ivonne Der Torosian, vp of Saint Agnes Medical Middle, mentioned it’s onerous to position sufferers from the emergency rooms as a result of the hospital is totally full. It has transformed 4 models for essential care and ICU beds.

“We run out of ICU beds each day,” Der Torosian mentioned. 

She echoed Utecht’s sentiment that Saint Agnes is going through a well being care employee scarcity, which is true throughout the Central Valley. Crowded hospitals throughout the Valley additionally make it tough to move sufferers to different hospitals. 

Dan Lynch, EMS director, mentioned that emergency transport is being closely affected by the crowded hospitals. Wait occasions for emergency drop-offs have in some circumstances exceeded three or 4 hours due to capability limits. He mentioned it’s unprecedented within the greater than twenty years he’s labored within the subject. 

In some circumstances, when ICU sufferers are transferred, they’re taken out of the realm fully as a result of native hospitals don’t have room. The associated fee is burdensome on the well being care sector, Lynch mentioned. 

It requires an entire ICU workforce, gear and transportation prices — in some circumstances, even an airlift. 

“Our well being care system is in a state of paralysis,” Lynch mentioned. 

“Our well being care professionals are exhausted. They’ve seen this pandemic go on for much too lengthy,” Der Torosian mentioned.