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One of the largest upticks in hospitalizations creates staff fatigue

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The county said 71 people are admitted into the hospital for COVID-19.

That’s one patient away from tying the record number in August. 

Wesley reports of the 28 COVID-19 patients that are in the hospital, 20 are in the ICU. 

Ascension Via Christi St. Francis reported more than half are in the ICU. 

COVID-19 ICU Nursing Manager at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis said she’s seeing one of the largest upticks in her unit this far. 

“We are tired,” said Jenifer Phelps. “This one’s been just about the highest one, it’s been staying in kinda right up there at capacity just within my unit, the patients are really, really sick.”

With an increase in the amount of people coming in, Phelps said it can be exhausting. 

“Sometimes one patient, it can take two nurses, it can take a team, it can take five of us in there sometimes,” she said. 

What does this mean for Sedgwick County?

With 71 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county, there are about 55% of the patients from the area. The other 45% are from other areas outside the county. The number of patients from outside the county has increased by about 15% or more. 

Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse said the numbers can be deceiving for Sedgwick County. 

“Because we’re doing such a good job here and our hospital systems are regionally based and have different hospitals in different parts of the country, their hospitals are full around and since ours are not they are shipping their patients here which is now filling our hospital up,” said Cruse. 

After a weekly health care meeting, Cruse said the main concern is with the county’s hospital staff. 

 “They’ve been doing this for eight months, they are just worn down,” She said. 

As for Phelps, she urges residents to mask up no matter where you live, to encourage the numbers to go down. 

“What is it going to take because you got people just walking around like it is nothing,” said Phelps. 

There are 33 ICU beds available. The hospitals say they do have a contingency plan if the caseloads continue to increase.

Wesley said by no means is the hospital overwhelmed as the number of beds provided by the county reflects only designated COVID unit beds and doesn’t reflect all ICU beds as a market. 

Both hospitals said there are concerns as the community and state must continue to focus on wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing to make progress against the pandemic.

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