Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2021

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82% of the Nevada’s intensive care beds are full, officials say


John Locher / AP

An ambulance is parked at University Medical Center.

In Idaho, the fourth-least vaccinated state in the nation, hospitals have been overrun with COVID patients and are running out of space to care for the sick and dying. Doctors and nurses are being forced to make difficult decisions about who will get life-saving care.

In Mississippi, a state health official said this week that intensive care bed availability was "effectively zero."

While Nevada hasn’t yet reached the breaking point, 82% of the state's roughly 700 intensive care beds are full, according to the Nevada Hospital Association. COVID patients make up about half of those in intensive care.

In Clark County, 216 of 450 intensive care beds are occupied by COVID patients, according to NV Health Response.

Clark County saw its lowest number of COVID-related ICU patients — 37 — on June 14. By Aug. 4, the number was up to 265. The peak was on Jan. 11, with 364 COVID patients in intensive care.

Health officials continue to stress the need for people to get vaccinated. Of Nevadans eligible for the shot, 63% have received at least one dose of vaccine, health officials said Thursday. (In Idaho, just under 56% are at least partially vaccinated, according to that state's health department.)

At University Medical Center, 95% of the COVID patients hospitalized during the most recent surge have not been vaccinated, officials said. Over the past two weeks, there have been an average of 1,054 daily cases statewide.

“While patient totals are trending downward, community members should rest assured that UMC has the necessary resources, staffing and bed capacity to handle any future influx of patients, just as we have throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic,” hospital officials said in a statement.