This Alabama heart patient died after he couldn’t find a ICU bed in 3 different states
The Alabama heart patient’s experience is a sign of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting everyone
An Alabama heart patient died from a “cardiac event” after emergency staff at his local hospital could not find an ICU bed across three states due to the ongoing COVID-19 surge, NBC News reports.
The man, Ray DeMonia, died on Sept. 1, which was three days before his 74th birthday.
His family said in an obituary published this week that he died at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi. Originally, staff members at Cullman Regional Medical Center in Cullman, Alabama, reached out to 43 different ICUs and couldn’t find him a bed until they found him one in Meridian.
“In honor of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non COVID related emergencies,” his family said in the obituary.
“He would not want any other family to go through what his did,” his family wrote.
Alabama ran out of ICU beds back in the middle of August, as I wrote for the Deseret News. In fact, Alabama was the first state in the country to see its ICU beds fill up because of the COVID-19 surge.
The New York Times reported at the time that “there were more than two dozen people being forced to wait in emergency rooms for an open ICU bed.”
- “We’ve never been here before. We are in truly now in uncharted territory in terms of our ICU bed capacity,” said Alabama Hospital Association President Dr. Don Williamson, according to WSFA.
This has happened in Idaho, too. On Sept. 7, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare enacted its “crisis standards of care” procedure, which allows hospitals to use ICU rooms for patients who are mostly likely to survive.
Idaho warned “residents that they may not get the care they would normally expect if they need to be hospitalized,” according to The Associated Press.