South Central Regional Hospital’s ICU is over capacity


HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – COVID-19 hospitalizations are at the highest point in nearly seven months and ICU beds are in short supply. In Laurel, the ICU department is over capacity at the South Central Regional Medical Center.

“Well over 90 percent of hospitalizations for COVID infection right now are among the unvaccinated. This has shifted, and we are seeing much larger numbers of younger people getting sick needing hospitalization and needing advanced care,” said Dr. Mark Horne, president of the Mississippi State Medical Association.

He continued, “We have admitted 12 patients just in the past 24 hours. We have a 13-bed intensive care unit here at South Central. We now have 20 patients in our ICU.”

The average age of patients in the ICU at the hospital is 49, with the youngest at 28 and the oldest at 69.

Horne said the overcapacity is forcing the hospital to find alternatives and there’s no end in sight.

“We have rooms in the ICU that we’ve put two patients in, and we’re holding five in the ER. We’re over 100 percent capacity in our ICU, and our hospital is full and patients are still coming.”

Horne said the best and safest way to get through this pandemic is by wearing a mask and getting the vaccine.

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