California’s Intensive Care Nightmare: Which Hospitals Are Full?

At hospitals in Fresno, critically ill patients with nowhere to go are stuck in crowded emergency rooms.

Doctors face such a dire shortage of intensive care beds at Community Regional Medical Center that patients who should be treated in specialized intensive care units were instead filling 12 of its 15 emergency room beds reserved for the severely sick and injured last weekend.

“That really bottlenecks us right in the front door,” said Rais Vohra, an emergency medicine physician at Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center and the county’s interim health officer. “We’re very worried.”

At nearby Saint Agnes Medical Center, some non-COVID-19 patients on ventilators have temporarily overflowed into post-operative or emergency department beds as patients with the virus more than quadrupled from 32 to 135 since mid-November.

Both ICUs have reached their capacity, and in all, Fresno County had only nine available ICU beds on Monday for its nearly 1 million residents, according to state data.

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