Hospital in St. George understaffed, nearing capacity

Southern Utah News

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Doctors and nurses at St. George Regional Hospital are overwhelmed by an influx of patients, according to the Medical Director, Dr. Patrick Carroll.

The hospital is seeing three times the number of COVID-19 patients in the last 10 days, according to Carroll.

“The number of patients in the hospital that we’re seeing is more than the normal numbers today, about 30 of those patients are because of COVID,” he says.

While the majority of total patients aren’t COVID-19 cases, he says it’s putting a strain on employees with a shortage of staff and resources.

“We don’t generally anticipate this number of patients in the summer,” he says.

Dr. Carroll says nurses and doctors are still recovering from the winter, when Southern Utah saw a spike in positive cases and hospitalizations. State officials say this isn’t only a problem down south, but all over Utah with a recent rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

“And we are headed into the most highest volume trauma weekend we have every year, so I want to echo what Governor Cox said, we want you to stay safe because burns, ATV accidents, drownings, are going to put a stress in our system, the biggest difference is we had staff to open an additional ICU that ran for nine months, we don’t have that staff now,” says Dr. Kencee Graves, the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Inpatient Services at University of Utah Health.

Carroll says their ICU is also nearing capacity, and they may have to soon expand it to other parts of the hospital, like they did in the winter.

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