© 2024 KGOU
Oklahoma sunset
News and Music for Oklahoma
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Slow-Rolling Mass Casualty Event': Oklahoma Hospital Officials Sound Alarm As COVID Hospitalizations Approach Pandemic's Peak

A chart shows COVID hospitalizations at Saint Francis Health System throughout the pandemic.
Saint Francis Health System
A chart shows COVID hospitalizations at Saint Francis Health System throughout the pandemic.

One of Oklahoma’s largest medical systems announced it will be sharing COVID-19 hospitalization data in response to the latest surge.

Saint Francis Health System announced in a press conference Monday it created its own data dashboard.

It will detail the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in their system, as well as a few other figures, such as the average age of those patients and hospitalizations in Saint Francis over time.

Officials said the average age of COVID patients at Saint Francis is 56, about ten years younger than the average patient during the last hospital surge in the winter.

In the first day’s data, the graph over time showed that current hospitalizations rival those of the post-Christmas peak.

The system’s president and CEO, Dr. Cliff Robertson, said that at current rates, the system might have to delay care for some patients to protect capacity for COVID patients. But, that brings about other problems.

"What we all learned was that helped a little, created a little capacity — not as much as we probably thought initially — and, quite honestly, created issues for us and for patients that had care that was delayed, said Robertson.

As of Monday, the statewide 3-day average of hospitalizations was over 1,400.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Catherine Sweeney grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma State University. She has covered local, state and federal government for outlets in Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
More News
Support nonprofit, public service journalism you trust. Give now.