Missouri hospital faces ventilator shortage amid virus hospitalization surge

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retired RN Barbara Vicente administers a shot of the Pfizer vaccine to Bobbie Guillette, 68, from Austin, Texas

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A Missouri hospital ran out of ventilators over the Fourth of July weekend amid a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations potentially caused by the spreading Delta variant.

Coronavirus hospital patients in Springfield — a city of over 160,000 people — jumped about 27 percent over the holiday weekend as the area grapples with low immunization rates.

The city’s two hospitals — CoxHealth and Mercy Springfield — were treating 213 COVID-19 patients as of Monday, up from 168 on Friday.

Back on May 24, the two hospitals were treating just 31 coronavirus patients.

With the patient uptick, Mercy Springfield ran out of ventilators over the weekend, but was able to borrow more before another patient arrived, according to Erik Frederick, the hospital’s chief administrative officer.

Coronavirus hospital patients in Springfield jumped about 27 percent over the holiday weekend.
Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, File

“After what we’ve seen in the last month everyone is just holding their breath, especially after a holiday weekend like this, knowing that there were large gatherings,” Frederick told the Associated Press.

Missouri has the most new COVID-19 cases per capita over the past 14 days of any state in the country.

Just shy of 45 percent of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The national rate is 54.7 percent.

man receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Springfield
Just shy of 45 percent of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, File

With Post wires

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