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Health

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

Francis_COVID_hospitalizations.jpg
Saint Francis Health System
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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.

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