Some Texas Hospitals Running Out Of ICU Space Due To COVID-19 Cases

Ventilator In Hospital
Photo credit sudok1/GettyImages
By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

Hospitals across Texas are reporting fewer than 1,000 available ICU beds, and some parts of the state say they have zero ICU beds available.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services says a total of 949 ICU beds were available across the state through Wednesday morning.

The region including Beaumont, Galveston and Port Arthur, in Southeast Texas, reported zero available ICU beds Tuesday afternoon. The area around Corpus Christi had two ICU beds, the region including Laredo had five ICU beds and South Texas, including Brownsville and McAllen reported eight open ICU beds.

Some hospitals have stopped taking transfers; others say they are converting lobbies or areas typically used for physical rehabilitation to house patients.

July 1, the state sent an "ambulance strike team" of ten ambulances and several hundred healthcare workers to Hidalgo County, where McAllen is located, to provide support to providers. The county says some ambulances were caring for patients while waiting in hospital parking lots up to 12 hours for beds to become available.

“Having the strike team on hand will be a big help to reduce wait times for county residents in an emergency. This will help relieve current ambulances that have been tied up at the hospitals answering other calls regarding COVID-19," Hidalgo County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricardo Saldaña said at the time.

Larger cities in Texas still had ICU beds available Tuesday afternoon. The region that includes Houston had 113 available ICU beds, San Antonio had 81 beds, Austin had 57.