13 hospitals in Mississippi have no ICU beds available due to COVID-19 Delta variant spike

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — The Mississippi Department of Health reports 13 hospitals have no ICU beds available as they see a COVID-19 Delta variant spike.

Two of them are in the Mid-South, Baptist-DeSoto Hospital and Methodist Health Care Olive Branch.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the Delta variant is causing a fourth wave in cases and he expects to see more deaths in the next few weeks.

A spokesperson with Baptist-Desoto emphasizes it can move patients within its system.

“It’s bad right now. Please exercise caution,” said Dr. Dobbs. “We are in the middle or even first part of the fourth wave and we want to bring as many people on the other side as we can.”

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Right now, Dr. Dobbs said there are 13 hospitals in Mississippi with no ICU beds while other hospitals are also struggling with less than 10 percent of availability.

He said the solution is simple, get vaccinated and avoid large indoor gatherings if you are 65 and older, even if you received the shot.

“We are seeing big outbreaks, seeing lots of cases in kids and seeing it translate into severe death and hospitalization into middle age and older folks,” said Dr. Dobbs.

Data from the Mississippi Department of Health shows Baptist-DeSoto and Methodist Olive Branch have zero ICU beds available.

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Chief Medical Officer Daniel Edney worries hospitals will get filled to capacity like at the beginning of January.

“We were transporting patients from Mississippi to Texas and Mississippi to Florida to try to get ICU beds and most of the public don’t understand how close we came the second week of January to the healthcare system breaking from the stress we were under,” said Edney.

FOX13 reached out to a spokesperson with Baptist-DeSoto and Methodist Healthcare Olive Branch.

A spokesperson from Baptist said it can direct patients to nearby hospitals that have additional beds, when necessary, within the healthcare system.

A spokesperson with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare said this shortage shows the alarming increase of cases we’ve seen over the past few weeks.

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Full Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare statement:

“As of this morning, MLH had 78 COVID-19-positive inpatients across our system. We also had three ICU beds available in our adult hospitals. It’s important to remember these numbers represent a snapshot in time and change frequently throughout the day.

On June 24, we had 14 COVID-19-positive inpatients across the system. The alarming increase of cases we’ve seen over the past few weeks shows we are not out of the woods yet with this pandemic. Vaccines are a weapon we have available to defend against this insidious disease.

Everyone needs to do their part and take personal responsibility in getting the vaccine.”

Full Baptist-DeSoto statement:

“Baptist DeSoto remains prepared to treat patients. Anyone who is having an emergency should come to the hospital immediately. Baptist DeSoto is part of a large health care system with many ICU beds. Through the Baptist Patient Placement Center, we manage beds systemwide and can direct patients to other nearby hospitals that have additional beds when necessary.

With the Baptist Patient Placement Center, we can project three hours in the future about ICU bed availability and work around that to best treat our patients. Based on projections at Baptist DeSoto, we will have 15 additional beds available in the next three hours. These projections are based on who we are seeing in the emergency department, treatment plans of current patients and patient discharges.

Baptist Memphis has capacity for patients now and will have even more available beds in three hours.”