MRHC at full capacity, can not equip the last fan | Local News


A Southeastern Oklahoma hospital operating at full capacity due to COVID-19 spikes cannot staff its last ventilator and does not have rapid tests available.

The state health department reported on Friday that the McAlester Regional Health Center did not have ventilators or COVID-19 collection kits after another spike in active cases over the past week in the county from Pittsburg and across the state. MRHC officials said on Friday afternoon that all but one of the facility’s 18 fans were on and could not staff the rest of the staff.

“We are at full capacity,” said Ashley Kennon, MRHC representative. “We have the maximum number of ventilated patients that we can take in this establishment. “

The MRHC is partnering with Oklahoma Heart Hospital for patients with immediate needs, but officials said some patients have been moved to Idaho and Colorado due to staff limitations.

Kennon said the MRHC hired 93 nurses in the past 90 days, but also lost 83 nurses during that time. She said some have left the industry, others have retired, and medical institutions continue to fight over staff as COVID-19 continues its resurgence statewide.

Officials said vaccination is strongly encouraged, but not a requirement for employment at the MRHC.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health this week reported 372 active cases of COVID-19 in Pittsburg County, including 5,705 cumulative cases, 82 deaths and 5,251 suspected recoveries.

Staff shortages and the influx of COVID-19 patients have delayed care for patients seeking care for more than COVID-19.

“We need our community to fight like our team fight,” Kennon said. “We need them to realize it’s real and it’s not just about COVID anymore. “

The MRHC also lags behind rapid test kits, which means same-day results are not available.

Anyone looking for a COVID-19 test can still get one at the MRHC with results coming in 3-5 days.

Pittsburg County officials said emergency room workers were overloaded with elective care – and provided a list of additional COVID-19 testing sites:

• MRHC South East Family Clinic

• Pittsburg County Department of Health

• Walgreens McAlester

• CVS McAlester

• Choctaw Nation McAlester Clinic

• Warren Clinic

• McAlester VA Clinic

• Food pharmacy Pruett n ° 7

• Kind hands to McAlester and Hartshorne

• Choctaw Nation health care center in Talihina

• Xpress Wellness emergency care

• Walmart in McAlester

The MRHC publishes its COVID-19 admission data every week. The hospital reported 98 admissions from July 1 to September 7 on Friday. 2, with 87.76% of those admitted unvaccinated and 12.24% vaccinated.

Immunization status is verified through physician documentation in the patient’s medical record and / or the Oklahoma State Immunization Information System (OSIIS), MRHC officials said.

The CDC says mRNA vaccines help cells make a protein that triggers an immune response to protect against infectious disease. Vaccines don’t give someone COVID-19, and vaccines don’t interact with DNA.

Pfizer’s vaccine has received full FDA approval that covers people 16 years of age and older, while it still has emergency use clearance for people 12 to 15 years old. The vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and Moderna have both received emergency use approval for people 18 years of age and older.

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