SAYRE — While Arnot Health reported this week that its Intensive Care Unit was at 100 percent capacity, Guthrie officials told the Morning Times that the “availability of ICU beds and the number of COVID patients change daily” in the local health care group’s hospitals.

“The availability of beds is influenced by availability of staff. All areas are open, however, on occasion adjustments may be required regarding admissions that can be accommodated based upon available staffing. More staff, especially nursing staff, are needed during this busy time,” Guthrie officials said in an email to the Morning Times.

“In addition to COVID patients, we continue to treat a high volume of patients with a variety of other illnesses. In addition, at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, staffing is required to maintain our Level II Trauma Center at all times. Staffing has been supplemented in the past with contracted nurses from staffing agencies, however, the heightened demand for nurses across the region and nation has reduced the availability of agency nurses for our region.”

According to the statement issued Thursday, Guthrie has 54 licensed ICU beds system-wide.

“Currently, patients with a COVID diagnosis make up about 30% of the total ICU patient population at Guthrie. Availability of ICU beds and the number of COVID patients change daily. The majority of our hospitalized patients at any given Guthrie hospital do not have a COVID diagnosis, and although there are COVID patients in each hospital and in each ICU — no single ICU has only COVID patients,” Guthrie officials said.

New Guthrie President and CEO Dr. Edmund Sabanegh praised the work of Guthrie’s employees and said the health care group is focused on providing quality care to its patients.

“Our hospitals are indeed very busy, but we continue to adjust to meet the needs of patients who rely on us for care. We remain grateful for our hard-working teams who remain flexible and are working hard to provide their very best to our patients,” said Sabanegh.

Pat McDonald can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 228 or editor@morning-times.com. Follow Managing Editor Pat McDonald on Twitter @PatMcDonaldMT.

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