"The public would be shocked"

Dr. David Hilden describes dwindling number of available ICU beds

Jordana Green
May 23, 2020 - 7:32 am
Dr. David Hilden of WCCO's Healthy Matters


The Minnesota Department of Health continues to report increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and fatalities.

And, with elective surgeries now allowed to take place, a strain on the state's health care system is emerging.

"What I'm seeing in the hospitals today, I think the public would be shocked to know that the state of Minnesota has relatively few beds available in our ICU's," HCMC's Dr. David Hilden told WCCO's Jordana Green on Friday.

Since May 18, when the stay at home order was replaced by Stay Safe Minnesota, more than 4,900 coronavirus tests have been taken in the state.

Peported positive cases reached a high of 778 on that very day of the changeover.

"We are ramping up, at least in the metro area," said Hilden, noting that the ICU bed shortage is more apparent in the Twin Cities, but still very real across the state.

"We are actively calling other hospitals, to say 'I have a patient, do you have a bed?'" he said. "We are already, not breaking, but really surging right now."

Dr. Hilden said the shortage may ease during the coming summer months, but can't be sure if a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak is coming.

"I just couldn't even predict what might be happening this coming fall," he said. "I think it's going to be a long haul. The more we open up, the more cases there are going to be."

Elective surgeries were put on hold for about two months when the stay-at-home order was first put into place by Gov. Walz.



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