Harris County ICU usage spiked 21 percent in last 7 days

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As Harris County looks to extend its stay-at-home order, data shows some concerning trends in southeast Texas hospitals. While there are still plenty of beds available before even using 'surge capacity,' ICU use is up sharply since April 1, and even more so in the last seven days.

SEE ALSO: ICU capacity strained at LBJ and Ben Taub hospitals due in part to COVID-19

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The pandemic isn't the only reason ICU beds are filling up, but it's making it worse.

13 Investigates examined data from SETRAC, a clearing house for information about hospital use in southeast Texas, from roughly Houston to Beaumont.

On April 1, there were 221 patients in Intensive Care Units with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Today that number is 272. It is a 23 percent increase from the start of April. In the last seven days it is up by 33 percent.

In the general population of area hospitals, admitted confirmed COVID-19 patients are up 46 percent since April 1. Hospitals have seen a 14 percent increase in the last seven days.

Looking specifically at Harris County, ICU usage spiked 21 percent in the last seven days. General bed use by confirmed COVID-19 patients in Harris County is flat.

The one bright spot in the stats is ventilator use. While more patients are in ICUs, there are six percent fewer of them on ventilators across our area.

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