Coronavirus Report

Critically ill flown to other states due to lack of Boston ICU beds

Medical staff move a COVID-19 patient from the emergency room into the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit
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A number of critically ill patients onboard Boston MedFlight helicopters have had to be flown to neighboring states in recent days due to a lack of ICU beds in the city. 

Boston MedFlight CEO Maura Hughes told CBS Boston that the situation has occurred “half a dozen times in the last 10 days” and that patients were taken to hospitals in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

“It’s not a great solution, particularly for the patient’s family, when you tell them ‘Yes, we have a bed. But it’s in Connecticut,'” Hughes told the local news outlet. 

The CEO also noted that although some of the patients Boston MedFlight helicopters are carrying are ill with the coronavirus, a good number of them are in critical condition because they put off getting care for medical issues during the pandemic. 

The difficulty in finding ICU beds in the area has resulted in helicopter crews caring for some patients for much longer amounts of time than usual while they search for hospitals with open beds, according to CBS Boston.  

“A lot of times it’s not the medical care that’s complicated, it’s the logistics,” Hughes noted.

Boston MedFlight is a nonprofit organization that provides transportation and medical care regardless of whether the patient can pay, CBS Boston noted. 

As of Wednesday, Massachusetts had 2,650 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to 823,800, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Tags Boston coronavirus cases coronavirus hospitalizations ICU beds Massachusetts

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