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Campbell County Memorial Hospital Capacity, Hospitalization Facts

Campbell County Memorial Hospital Capacity, Hospitalization Facts

The numbers of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and the numbers of people hospitalized have recently been increasing in Campbell County and the state of Wyoming. We want to help answer some questions regarding hospital capacity at Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) and our process for transferring patients if needed.

CCMH has seven designated Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, 18 Medical/Surgical beds, and four “flex” beds that can be used as Medical/Surgical or Maternal Child beds based on the need. We have five beds that are designated for COVID-19 positive patients, and those beds have all been full or close to full for the past two weeks. In addition, inpatient hospital beds have been at or near capacity at times with patients hospitalized at CCMH for other reasons, including surgeries and other illnesses.

There are situations when a patient must be transferred to another healthcare facility. We strive to keep patients in our community, and transfers out of the community are taken very seriously. Patient transfers due to a lack of capacity at CCMH are very rare under normal operating circumstances. Transfers can occur if a patient requires the care of a specialty physician not available in the community, or requires a service that is not available in our community such as advanced burn care. Other examples of reasons a patient might require transfer to a larger hospital are: neurological emergencies requiring interventions, head injuries, or a very ill infant under 36 weeks old.

The safety of our patients is always our first priority, and we have transferred several COVID-19 positive patients to other healthcare facilities in the past few weeks, because they required a level of specialty care that we were unable to provide.

In addition to bed capacity, healthcare staff are also a limited resource in all rural communities. We must ensure that we have enough qualified staff, appropriate bed space, and equipment to safely care for the patients in our hospital. This is the concern we have when the number of positive COVID-19 patients is increasing in the community. More cases also mean more potential exposure to our staff and that risk that they could become ill.

Our leadership and directors are meeting every day to discuss bed capacity, staffing, and other important planning processes. Our staff have been tirelessly working to serve our community, particularly this last seven months during these unprecedented times. They are truly heroes and we are so grateful for their dedication to our mission.

The community can continue to help us ensure that we have capacity to care for everyone who needs it by continuing to wear a mask when in public and around others, staying six feet apart as much as possible, washing your hands, and staying home when you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms.

And everyone should get a flu shot this year. The flu can cause serious illness and hospitalization for some people, and we are all concerned that we may see a surge of patients with both the COVID-19 pandemic and the typical influenza season occurring in tandem this fall.

Current Wyoming and Campbell County COVID-19 statistics are available here: health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/

Misty Robertson is Campbell County Health’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)