COVID-19

Bronson Hospital nears capacity

As new infections rise in the county, its largest hospital is running out of room.

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo is running out of beds to treat patients. On Monday, the state reported that the hospital was at 99% capacity, leaving it to make difficult decisions for allocating limited resources.

Records show the hospital was treating 49 COVID-19 patients on Monday. That number shot up to 54 on Tuesday before settling back down to 48 on Wednesday. The rapidly shifting patient numbers show how hard it is to predict how much space may be needed on a day to day basis.

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Spokesperson Carolyn Wyllie told MLive that reaching capacity may require them to turn away patients.

“If we reach temporary capacity in certain areas, we may temporarily close to regional patient transfers or go on diversion to ambulance traffic until our capacity opens back up,” she said.

If capacity problems persist, the hospital may have to implement a surge plan.

“This may include alternative staffing models and/or the addition of more beds, which were approved for emergency use by the state during the first phase of the pandemic,” said Wyllie.

Kalamazoo’s other hospital doesn’t publicly report patient numbers, but hasn’t been plagued with capacity limitations the way Bronson has.

State records show that Ascension Borgess Hospital was operating at 77% capacity on Monday, meaning it may be able to handle some of the overflow from Bronson should the need arise.

You can read more here.

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