Pediatric ICU bed capacity worries officials: 'There's not much margin to place someone if they get sick'

Posted at 8:10 AM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 19:17:27-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Last week, pediatric ICU beds were at 91% capacity. As of Friday, it dropped but not by much.

While the number has improved, health officials are still concerned about what that could mean for sick kids and even adults.

"It’s very much concerning, there’s not much margin of error. There's not much margin to place someone if they get sick. We don’t want to run out of beds," Phil Rooney, Resource Specialist for the Douglas County Health Department said.

While not every patient in the ICU is a COVID patient, some are.

"The big dangers about hospitals being full is someone won’t have a bed to go to if they need care for a heart attack, a stroke, if they fall and break something, a car accident, there won’t be a place to put someone," Rooney said.

Rooney says another concern is kids can easily pass the virus on to older, more susceptible people. High hospital capacity can also mean delay of care, since capacity is measured by beds available in the region. While one hospital may have a few beds available, another may not.

Rooney said the best way to keep everyone safe and hospital capacity low is to get everyone vaccinated who is eligible.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.

Coronavirus Resources and Information

Johns Hopkins global coronavirus tracker