Hospital Transfers Becoming Difficult

Rural Kansas hospitals are struggling to transfer patients as COVID-19 numbers surge, with some patients left stranded in emergency rooms while they wait for a bed.

Space also was in short supply last winter and again over the summer when the delta variant first hit the state.

The situation improved slightly this fall, but now is worsening again, according to Motient, a company contracted by Kansas to help manage transfers.

Doctor Richard Watson, founder of Motient, said forty patients were on the list waiting to be transferred.

Some have been in emergency departments awaiting transfers for days, sometimes more than a week.

Watson said larger hospitals don’t want COVID-19 patients unless they are really sick, adding that some are only accepting transfers if they need to be on a ventilator.

The shortage of beds and staff also has stranded patients with other health issues, such as heart attacks.