ICU beds already near capacity with non-coronavirus patients at L.A. County hospitals

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Workers stand outside UCLA Medical Center, which is conducting COVID-19 testing, in this undated photo. (Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Workers stand outside UCLA Medical Center, which is conducting COVID-19 testing, in this undated photo. (Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Intensive care beds at Los Angeles County’s emergency-room hospitals are already at or near capacity, even as those facilities have doubled the number available for COVID-19 patients in recent days, according to newly released data obtained by The Times.

Fewer than 200 ICU beds were available Wednesday, with most ICU beds occupied by non-coronavirus patients, according to the data which covers the roughly 70 public and private hospitals in Los Angeles County that receive emergency patients.

The figures, which haven’t been disclosed previously, offer the first real-time glimpse of capacity levels at hospitals from Long Beach to the Antelope Valley and raise fresh worries that the hospital system, which is already strained by shortages, could soon run short of beds.

“I am very concerned. We have a limited number of ICU beds available in L.A. County,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who urged residents to heed social-distancing orders to reduce infection rates and strain on medical resources. “I would like to begin exploring every possible solution to increase the capacity of our hospital system, including building pop-up hospital sites.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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