In line with the UNMC knowledgeable, Omaha is lower than two weeks away from crowded hospitals
A medical expert and member of the UNMC Global Center for Health Security sounds the alarm about hospital capacity in the subway area.
Dr. James Lawler, who is also director of clinical and bio-defense research at the National Strategic Research Institute, said Wednesday that the Omaha area is less than two weeks from the point where hospitals will be overwhelmed with COVID if there are no drastic changes can be done quickly. 19 patients and unable to adequately care for patients entering hospitals. “Within two weeks, our hospitals will be overcrowded and we will no longer be able to occupy all of the beds we need,” Lawler told 6 News.
The entire Omaha subway area is 86% hospitalized, leaving 215 medical and surgical beds with 54 beds in the ICU available, according to Douglas County’s Health Department on Wednesday.
Lawler is calling for stricter non-pharmaceutical interventions like face masks and social distancing to control community transmission. Also, gatherings of more than 10 people should be banned, he said, and restaurants and bars should not allow visitors indoors. “At that point we come to the place where we would only have to temporarily close schools for community transmission to subside,” he said.
Nebraska Medicine is already rerouting transfer patients – something Lawler has never seen in his tenure there. “I don’t know where these patients will go because it’s not like there are other tertiary care medical centers that are not in the area. You’re all overwhelmed, ”Lawler said.
“The reality that the hospital health system is completely overwhelmed is beyond anything we’ve seen,” Lawler said. “I think the impact will be beyond anything people have expected or seen.” So, unfortunately, it’s going to be really devastating. “