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Methodist in the Media

Rural Hospitals in Iowa Face Challenges Getting Patients Transferred to ICUs Due to Lack of Bed Space

Published: Oct. 5, 2021

Pulmonologist Sumit Mukherjee, MD, at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, says he's had several rural providers in Iowa ask for recommendations on advanced respiratory treatment. He says those smaller hospitals are feeling a strain because of the bedding situation since hospitals in bigger areas can't accept transfers.

"Oftentimes those hospitals, those community hospitals don't have the facilities or equipment to be able to take care of advanced respiratory failure. They have maybe a ventilator, or two and typically when they place patients on those ventilators, they transfer the patients into town," Dr. Mukherjee said.

Dr. Mukherjee says providers are feeling the pressure, in ways they've never felt before.

"Lots of providers are calling me and asking how to manage advanced respiratory failure at this point," Mukherjee said.

KMTV: Rural Hospitals in Iowa Face Challenges Getting Patients Transferred to ICUs Due to Lack of Bed Space