OU Medical Center just opened up 36 more hospital beds this week to alleviate some of the strain the hospital has been under with the amount of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients it takes in.
Being a level one trauma center in the Oklahoma City metro, their ICU is an area that has been strained. At any given time, it is at almost 100% capacity throughout the year, without throwing COVID-19 into the mix.
"Now, with COVID-19 on top of that, patients that fill up the hospital like patients with trauma or cancer, it has put a real strain,” said Dr. Dale Bratzer.
Bratzler said the strain on the healthcare system has a domino effect.
For instance, he said, if someone comes in with a serious illness, doesn’t have to be COVID-19, and there are no beds the hospital has no other option than to find somewhere else for that person to get care.
He said if Oklahoma keeps rising in cases, they could have to cut back on elective surgeries again.