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Florida hospitals have 'significant demand for oxygen' due to COVID-19 surge

The emergency ward entrance at Jupiter Medical Center on Aug. 12, 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:36 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:13:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The CEO of the Florida Hospital Association on Thursday said she's in contact with hospitals all over the state and COVID-19 cases keep climbing, along with the pressure to care for so many.

"Today we are at 15,358 individuals hospitalized for COVID statewide," said Mary Mayhew. "Hospitals have been acquiring more ventilators in the last several weeks. The volume of patients on oxygen, again, beyond what they would typically experience, that's an understatement."

Mayhew added there's a "significant demand for oxygen," so hospitals are maximizing ventilators and acquisition of ventilators.

Medical centers in the area are no exception. Feeling the strain and mounting pressure on staff, a spokesperson at Jupiter Medical Center said their staff is working as hard and fast as they can. But COVID-19 patients keep coming in. Even the chief nursing officer was on a floor caring for patients.

"It's a numbers game, a lot of people need care and only a finite number of providers," said Dr. David Dodson, an infectious disease specialist in West Palm Beach.

Dodson said he's seeing the crush of patients firsthand.

"What someone may experience when they go to an emergency room is they my see a lot more people in the emergency room, temporary beds," Dodson said. "So beds up on the floor may not be available. People may have long waits in the ER."