Florida hospital ‘stacking patients in hallways,’ report says


(Getty Images for WFLA)

SUMTER COUNTY (WFLA) — Capacity issues are continuing to plague Florida hospitals as the surge of COVID-19 patients puts a strain on staff and resources.

In a report by Buzzfeed on Friday, a paramedic out of Sumter County said issues have escalated to the point where they were “stacking patients in the hallways, stacking patients in the waiting room.”

The paramedic, 39-year-old Stew Eubanks, told Buzzfeed that usually his calls would be minor situations, but now it’s mostly severe cases. In the Villages, the retirement community that he serves, there’s been an increase of patients who were sicker than others before.

Data released by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on Monday showed that 83.9 percent of 251 Florida hospitals’ inpatient beds are in use. About 28 percent of those were being used for COVID-19 cases.

When it comes to the intensive care patients, the data shows even more of the problem caused by the delta variant surge. More than half of the ICU beds in the reporting hospitals were being taken up by COVID-19 patients, with only about 7.8 percent of the ICU beds being available.

Last Thursday, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Florida had more cases within the past week than the 30 states with the lowest case rates. Zients also said Florida and Texas made up about 40 percent of the new hospitalizations in the United States.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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