Hospital ICUs are filling up. It’s even worse than it sounds.

“bed capacity numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Adding extra critical-care beds in other departments or buildings takes precious time, resources, and space. But adding trained staff is much more difficult, especially deep into a pandemic.

When trained staff are in short supply, it’s even harder for hospitals to best meet the needs of critical-care patients. These patients include people very sick with Covid-19, but also many who need to be in the ICU for other reasons, such as those who have had a heart attack or stroke, are recovering from major surgery, or are sick with the flu, among others”

“it is not just ICU physicians and nurses who are in short supply. “Critical care is more of a team sport,” Garner said. “This means physician-delivered care and interventions, but also careful medication selection dosage with pharmacists, skilled nursing care, respiratory therapists, midlevel providers, nutritionists, early mobilization with physical therapists.” To that list, Nagle also adds all of the other hospital staff needed to perform other essential tasks in ICUs, including bathing patients, changing linens, and other functions.”