Hospitals Doing A Juggling Act

Doctors in Kansas are hunting down ventilators and running out of monoclonal antibodies as COVID-19 patient counts hit pandemic highs at a growing number of hospitals.

The strain has prevented bigger, city hospitals from accepting as many rural transfer patients as they otherwise might, including patients who need treatment for heart attacks, strokes, serious car accidents, or other non-COVID-19 reasons.

Doctor Lisa Hays, the chief medical officer at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, described the ventilator situation at the hospital as “tenuous.”

HCA Midwest Health has been shuffling ventilators around among its Kansas City-area hospitals, where 255 COVID-19 patients were filling about a quarter of the beds, said Dr. Kim Megow, the chief medical officer.

At Ascension Via Christi Health’s Wichita hospitals, they’ve been able to move ventilators around to prevent a shortage.

The bigger concern there was the low supply of monoclonal antibodies.

Health officials for hospitals in the Kansas City and Wichita areas issued a plea for people to wear masks and avoid crowds.