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Green Country hospitals brace for flood of new COVID-19 patients

ICU beds
Posted at 7:05 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 15:14:15-05

TULSA, Okla. — Gatherings large and small over the holidays, travel at its highest level since the pandemic began, people not wearing masks, or social distancing, and a new more contagious strain of COVID-19 starting to spread across the nation — it's become the perfect recipe for spreading COVID-19 faster than ever before and with more and more people getting sick, our hospitals are at a crisis point.

"The entire state of Oklahoma has no beds, no ICU beds," Dr. Carlos Cabrera Jr. with Saint Anthony hospital in Shawnee.

READ MORE: Oklahoma doctor sounds alarm over lack of ICU beds

Jared Taylor, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said, "We want people to be you know aware of the impacts of their decisions, in making that possible or preventing that from occurring."

Health experts said this week Oklahoma is entering the post holiday surge in cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed. In the days and weeks ahead, those too sick to beat COVID-19 on their own will flood into area hospitals.

At the same time, we're on the brink of what could be weeks of hospitals unable to handle the wave after wave of patients, because there simply aren't enough beds and staff to care for everyone.

"There are a limited number of doctors and nurses that have the skillsets to actually take care of these patients," said OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler.

Worse case scenario — putting some in the horrifying position of having to choose which patients to treat aggressively because they have a chance to survive and which to only give comfort care because it is likely COVID-19 will kill them anyway.

"We're not there yet. But that's a possibility," Dr. Bratzler said.

Join 2 Works for You anchor Karen Larsen TONIGHT at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to hear from doctors, patients and health care experts bracing for COVID's crisis of care.

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