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Maine hospital officials warn about shortage of ICU beds

As of Friday, there were only 39 ICU beds available in Maine.
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 3:19 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Maine is reporting the highest number of critical care patients with coronavirus since January - at what was then the peak of the pandemic.

According to Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC, 71 patients with the virus are in critical care beds. That’s up from 59 Thursday.

There are only 39 ICU beds available in Maine.

Hospital officials are now warning about a shortage of intensive care beds across the state.

Maine Medical Center in Portland has opened ten extra ICU beds in the last couple of weeks alone.

The surge in cases could also have an effect on pediatric beds available.

Dr. James Jarvis says Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center has had to use some pediatric ICU beds in order to take care of adults with critical needs.

He says those have always been at a premium in Maine.

With the uptick in cases, they could run into challenges.

“The concern is real that if we were to see a significant spike in children who require critical care whether that be for COVID-19 or the RSV virus that’s spreading rapidly now, or for any other indications. Our hands are tied and it makes it incredibly difficult for us to take care of our most vulnerable population,” said Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health.

On Thursday, Jarvis said more than 90% of COVID patients in their ICU are unvaccinated.

According to the U.S. CDC, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines decreased adults’ likelihood of being hospitalized by more than 90% during the Delta variant increase.

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Posted by CDC on Friday, August 27, 2021

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