Nationwide curfew is being mentioned as a number of intensive care items in Hawaii are working at or above their capability

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The situation in Hawaii’s hospitals is getting worse by the day. Staff shortages are not the only problem.

Leaders say a number of hospitals across the state have intensive care units at or above capacity.

“We have a number of hospitals with intensive care units that are 120 to 150 percent full,” said Hilton Raethel, CEO of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. “We have secured patients waiting for beds in a number of our emergency rooms.”

Lt. Gov. Josh Green says that includes Queen’s Medical Center.

“Here on Oahu, our trauma center at Queen’s, they’re full. You have run out of intensive care beds, ”Green said. “So when it comes to car accidents or serious heart attacks, they have to do their best to use their surgical facilities and other rooms for service.”

He says hospitals are asking elected officials for more rules to curb the need for emergency care.

On Monday afternoon, Queen released a statement on the current situation.

“Queen’s accepts patients who need emergency care to treat trauma, heart attacks and strokes. In addition, our intensive care unit (ICU) capacity fluctuates every day and every time, ”said Jason Chang, chief operating officer of Queen’s Health Systems, in the statement.

“At the time of this writing, our intensive care unit in the Queen’s Medical Center punchbowl is busy. We remain committed to care by constantly evaluating our operations to ensure our doors remain open to those in need of emergency care. We also have the option of treating patients at The Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu. Our highest priority is the safety of our patients and our caregivers. “

Meanwhile, the first wave of health care reinforcements from the mainland hit the Big Island on Monday morning.

On Monday, 11 nurses and a respiratory therapist contacted Hilo Medical Center.

Across the island, 35 more frontline health workers arrived at Kona Community Hospital.

The resources of both institutions were exhausted to their limits. The auxiliaries will spend the next eight weeks caring for the COVID patients at each hospital.

“This allows our tense employees to rest. To have a day off. To recharge our batteries and be at our best in caring for our patients, ”said Elena Cabatu, director of public affairs at Hilo Medical Center.

These reinforcements are the first of approximately 550 Nurses expected to land on the islands in the next few weeks. They will help hospitals across the state cope with the acute staff shortage.

The lieutenant governor says 321 COVID patients have been hospitalized across the state as of this morning – 26 are vaccinated.

He says discussions are ongoing to reduce other types of cases getting into the system.

“Whether these are curfews recommended by some in the hospital community,” he said. “Because nocturnal accidents are when you are overcrowded in the hospitals, especially when it comes to trauma services.”

Back on the Big Island, officials at Kona Community Hospitals say they plan to expand the size of their newly created COVID wing.

“We’re talking today about widening that wall to accommodate more patients because we’re seeing some positive results in our emergency department,” said Judy Donovan, director of marketing and strategic planning for the hospital.

According to Cabatu, the average length of stay for a COVID patient at Hilo Medical Center is four weeks, while the average length of stay for a non-COVID patient is four days.

“This should be one of the main reasons people get vaccinated,” she said. “If not you, for the next person to have a heart attack or a serious car accident.”

Nationwide, 61.3% of the population is fully vaccinated.

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