Missouri Hospital Runs Out of Ventilators in Latest COVID Surge
Missouri has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, and Springfield’s two hospitals had 213 COVID patients on Monday, up from 168 on Friday.
As a result, hospital staff members spent the night looking for more of the equipment that helps patients breathe, reports the Kansas City Star. Mercy Springfield Chief Administrative Officer Erik Frederick tweeted that the hospital had 47 patients on ventilators – a lot of them were COVID patients, but not all.
Fortunately, more ventilators were on their way from other hospitals in the Mercy health system. Additionally, the hospital opened up a second COVID ICU due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The city’s two hospitals, Mercy Springfield and CoxHealth, reported 213 COVID patients on Monday, up from 168 on Friday, reports Fox News. In the state of Missouri, there were 643 confirmed COVID cases per day, with 859 hospitalized for the virus. One hundred twenty four people were on ventilators, reports the Kansas City Star.
Public health officials say the situation at Mercy Springfield and in the entire state of Missouri could have been avoided if more people received the coronavirus vaccine. NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, M.D. said on Sunday said that 99.2% of those who died from COVID-19 in June were not vaccinated, reports the Hill.
Missouri has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, and this weekend, hospital officials expressed their extreme frustration over the low immunization rate.
Georgetown University has identified 30 clusters of counties with low vaccination rates and significant population sizes that are vulnerable to coronavirus surges, reports CNN. Most are in the South, with some in the Midwest. Areas with a high rate of transmission can become breeding grounds for new COVID-19 variants that could evade vaccines.
The Associated Press is reporting that CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards tweeted: “If you are making wildly disparaging comments about the vaccine, and have no public health expertise, you may be responsible for someone’s death. Shut up.”
Frederick also tweeted this comment in an effort to bolster the vaccination rate in Springfield: “So if you’re vaccinated there is a light at the end of a tunnel. If you’re unvaccinated that’s probably a train.”