Dallas County has 52 ICU hospital beds available as coronavirus cases climb
The number of available intensive care hospital beds in Dallas County has shrunk as the coronavirus pandemic continues to widen in north Texas, new data from the county shows.
At 52, the county’s stock of available beds in the adult intensive care unit is at one of the lowest points since the high summer coronavirus peak in July. The figure does not include beds that hospitals can add if necessary. Each hospital has its own operation plan, which can include doubling beds in rooms and remodeling operation centers.
“Everyone is very concerned about the trends,” said Dr. Philip Huang, the health director. “People aren’t that vigilant about infection control.”
The daily census is a snapshot and may shift. Figures for the total number of beds in the adult intensive care unit were not immediately available. The county had previously registered around 350 available beds at the start of the pandemic in mid-April when hospitals were emptied to make way for COVID-19 cases.
Previous news reports found that not all hospitals consistently report their census. The number of free beds has been regularly below 100 since the beginning of October.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council said Tuesday that there is no shortage of ICU or ICU beds for children. About 30% of all adult ICU beds in the region are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Among these are seven El Paso County residents who have moved to North Texas as their counties have seen massive increases in some cases.
The state reports a total of 229 intensive care beds in the North Texas region. A further 1,938 beds are available in these hospitals. The state has a total of 14,982 staffed beds in the region.
Dallas County Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday expressed both concern and skepticism about the state of the pandemic and blamed the lack of coherence in the county’s and state’s reporting of new cases.
Such a shift since the summer: The district is now collecting and publishing the results of COVID-19 antigen tests. These tests provide results in minutes or hours, but are considered less reliable than molecular tests.
The state does not record these types of tests.
Commissioner John Wiley Price, a Democrat representing southern Dallas County, reiterated that hospital records remain the best way to understand the presence of the virus.
“We really don’t know,” he said of the number of new cases that have started to exceed 1,000 a day. “For me, these beds are the only measured variable. We don’t know what’s going on. ”
Price also questioned the supply of fans, asking for details on the availability of parts needed to repair broken machines.
The city of Dallas reported Tuesday that 38% of the 980 ventilators in city hospitals were reported as operating.
But Huang said he was unaware of any concerns about ventilator supplies.
Commissioner JJ Koch, a Republican representing northern Dallas County, requested data on the average length of stay in hospitals in the area.
“It’s really important that we have this data,” he said, noting advances in medical treatment for COVID-19. “If we were to talk about 52 beds in April, there would be more panic.”
District Judge Clay Jenkins, who highlighted the nearly 3,000 new cases recorded Monday between Dallas and neighboring Tarrant County, stressed that North Texans should reassess their Thanksgiving vacation plans.
“The key will be people celebrating the holidays in smaller groups,” he said.