Surge of COVID-19 cases slowing hospitals down from providing services to others

ATLANTA — As area hospitals fill with COVID-19 patients, those who need other treatments are not able to get them as easily.

One Georgia family told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln that overcrowding at hospitals lead to their loved one not receiving the potentially life saving treatment he needed in time.

Tiffany Murphy says her father needed specialized care for a lung disease that could not be provided at the smaller regional hospital he was in. But he couldn’t get transferred to a larger hospital in time and passed away.

“I had a nurse specifically tell me, she said, ‘To be honest with you, if it wasn’t for COVID, your father would have been transferred within the hour,’” Murphy told Channel 2 Action News.

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Murphy says she staff at an area hospital in Metter, Georgia called at least 50 hospitals searching for the treatment her father desperately needed.

The dark reality was many hospitals are too full to accept transfer patients.

Murphy says her 75-year-old father’s oxygen levels dropped drastically and he was admitted to the hospital, but was quickly told he needed to see a specialist.

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While they searched for a hospital with an available bed, his health quickly deteriorated. He eventually was placed on a ventilator.

The Georgia Department of Public Health currently reports that 96% of ICU beds, 85.5% of inpatient beds and 52% of ventilators across the state are all in use.

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Doctors and nurses tell Channel 2 Action News that the majority of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

“It makes me angry, because those are beds that did not have to be taken up,” Murphy said.

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