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At least 89 Texas hospitals were out of ICU beds last week

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The COVID-19 unit at the DHR Health Center in Edinburg in June 2020. Photo Credit:  Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
The COVID-19 unit at the DHR Health Center in Edinburg in June 2020. Photo Credit:  Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune

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BY CARLA ASTUDILLO 

AND KAREN BROOKS HARPER / THE TEXAS TRIBUNE

As the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 spreads and sends unvaccinated Texans to the hospital with serious illness, hospitals are under enormous pressure to make room for growing numbers of patients.

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Each week, hospitals in Texas report their current ICU bed capacity to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here is the latest situation between Friday, Aug. 13, and Thursday, Aug. 19:

Hospital staff has never been in shorter supply, which deepens the strain on all departments, including emergency rooms, respiratory therapy and even labor and delivery. Without the capacity to take on new patients — and equally thin resources elsewhere to transfer them to — doctors fear they’ll have to start making heartbreaking decisions about care in order to save the most lives possible.

According to the federal government, the weekly ICU capacity numbers should not discourage patients from seeking medical care in these facilities. “Hospitals have protocols in place to keep patients safe from exposure and to ensure all patients are prioritized for care,” the agency said in December.

ICU capacity at hospitals in Houston between Friday, Aug. 13, and Thursday, Aug. 19:

Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital

18220 Tomball Parkway 

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Houston, TX 77070

100%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 31 ICU beds were occupied with 0 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Houston Methodist West Hospital

18500 Katy Freeway 

Houston, TX 77094

100%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 23 ICU beds were occupied with 0 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center

1313 Hermann Dr. 

Houston, TX 77004

100%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 20 ICU beds were occupied with 0 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

St. Luke’s Hospital at The Vintage

20171 Chasewood Park Drive 

Houston, TX 77070

100%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 13 ICU beds were occupied with 0 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest

710 Cypress Creek Parkway 

Houston, TX 77090

100%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 39 ICU beds were occupied with 0 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center

6411 Fannin 

Houston, TX 77030

99.8%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 130 ICU beds were occupied with 0.3 staffed ICU beds available in the last

week

Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center

921 Gessner 

Houston, TX 77024

99.7%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 63 ICU beds were occupied with 0.2 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Harris Health System

2525 Holly Hall 

Houston, TX 77054

99.5%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 84 ICU beds were occupied with 0.4 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

St. Joseph Medical Center

1401 St. Joseph Parkway 

Houston, TX 77002

99%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 22 ICU beds were occupied with 0.3 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Houston Methodist Hospital

6565 Fannin 

Houston, TX 77030

98%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 151 ICU beds were occupied with 4 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Memorial Hermann Hospital System

1635 North Loop West 

Houston, TX 77008

96%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 139 ICU beds were occupied with 5 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Kindred Hospital Houston Medical Center

6441 Main St. 

Houston, TX 77030

96%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 9 ICU beds were occupied with 0.4 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Kindred Hospital

11297 Fallbrook 

Houston, TX 77065

95%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 11 ICU beds were occupied with 1 staffed ICU bed available in the last week

HCA Houston Healthcare West

12141 Richmond Ave. 

Houston, TX 77082

86%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 21 ICU beds were occupied with 3 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

United Memorial Medical Center

510 W. Tidwell 

Houston, TX 77091

86%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 14 ICU beds were occupied with 2 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Chi St. Luke’s Health Baylor College of Medicine

6720 Bertner 

Houston, TX 77030

84%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 106 ICU beds were occupied with 20 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

1515 Holcombe Blvd. 

Houston, TX 77030

57%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 31 ICU beds were occupied with 24 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals Houston Medical Center

1300 Binz 

Houston, TX 77004

45%

of ICU beds were occupied

An average of 11 ICU beds were occupied with 14 staffed ICU beds available in the last week

Texas Childrens Hospital

6621 Fannin Street 

Houston, TX 77030

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both

Tops Surgical Specialty Hospital

17080 Red Oak Drive 

Houston, TX 77090

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both. 

The Heights Hospital

1917 Ashland Street, Suite 300 

Houston, TX 77008

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both.

The Woman’s Hospital of Texas

7600 Fannin 

Houston, TX 77054

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both.

Ad Hospital East, LLC

12950 East Freeway, Suite 100 

Houston, TX 77015

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both.

Texas Orthopedic Hospital

7401 South Main Street 

Houston, TX 77030

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both.

Healthbridge Childrens Hospital of Houston

2929 Woodland Park Drive 

Houston, TX 77082

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both.

Altus Houston Hospital, LP

6011 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. Soouth 

Houston, TX 77072

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both.

Shriners Hospitals For Children

6977 Main Street 

Houston, TX 77030

Note: HHS redacted numbers from this hospital because it reported fewer than four staffed ICU beds, fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or both.

  • Note: Because data for hospitals with fewer than four patients occupying ICU beds or fewer than four staffed ICU adult beds is redacted, we cannot calculate the percentage of staffed ICU beds. About 200 out of more than 400 Texas hospitals that reported data to the federal government have fewer than four staffed adult ICU beds at any given time.
  • Source: Department of Health & Human Services
  • Credit: Carla Astudillo

The vast majority of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and ICUs are unvaccinated. Doctors say mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing are the best ways to slow down the hospital numbers in the short term, and that monoclonal antibody therapies for people with COVID-19 symptoms can keep them out of the hospital in many cases. They also say the only way to permanently slow down the record spike in hospitalizations is to vaccinate a majority of the state.

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