Raw Story: The day before Idaho activated “crisis standards of care” statewide, St. Luke’s Health System made a request for that last-resort declaration. It had no other choice.
The state’s crisis standards activation committee was called to meet on Wednesday, Sept. 15, to consider the request. The process had to move quickly. St. Luke’s CEO Chris Roth presented to the committee by videoconference, from his daughter’s bedroom.
“It was a memorable place to be, during a really sobering call,” Roth told the Idaho Capital Sun.
That day, St. Luke’s had a record 281 COVID-19 patients in its hospitals — occupying more than half of its 475 staffed adult hospital beds.
The hospital system had already opened 93 beds in overflow areas. It ran out of physical beds “and would be treating patients on stretchers until the additional beds they have ordered arrive,” the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s declaration said. St. Luke’s told the state’s crisis standards committee that 58 of its 71 ICU patients had COVID-19, that it was starting to use pediatric ventilators for adult patients, and that it had to cancel surgeries such as “removal of low risk cancers, fractures with pain and hernia repairs,” the declaration said.
Even then, St. Luke’s couldn’t keep up with the influx of patients, and its projections for the coming weeks were dire — reaching a point where it would have to choose between patients. Read more..
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