Another record day: Kootenai Health breaks number of COVID hospitalizations once again

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho– A year ago, Kootenai Health would have never guessed the volume of patients needing care today. They are working hard to make room for people who need help.

There are currently 150 COVID hospitalizations, 43 of those are in critical care, and two are pediatric cases.

The hospital continues to see a record number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized. Just last week its record was 115. Since then, it’s seen numbers continue to rise.

COVID patients take up 75 percent of the hospital’s pre-COVID bed capacity. It uses overflow areas to care for the rise in patients.

“It’s just incredibly difficult to describe what it’s like to take care of these patients and be on the floors and see these patients on a daily basis. The volume is unbelievable. The number of patients on the verge of being intubated or at times dying is extraordinary,” said Dr. Scoggins.

Director of clinical services Debbie Callins said patients and families suffer when medical staff doesn’t have access to the resources they need.

“I think it’s really important to know that the fight is real and the struggle is real, but our teams are very strong and they continue to come in and take care of the community,” Callins said.

As cases surge, taking care of the community continues to be an issue. Kootenai Health says they are seeing younger patients which could lead to problems later on.

“A guy my age who’s had COVID was in the ICU for only a couple of days and was discharged home came back with a really serious complication of COVID. I think that one thing people don’t realize is that even if you make it out of the hospital and go home what we’re seeing is a lot of people are going to have chronic lung disease,” said Dr. Scoggins.

Doctors say many patients would not be in the hospital if they were vaccinated. They also say cases will eventually go down, but there is no telling when that will happen.

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