Metro hospitals overflowing with COVID-19 patients, postponing non-emergency procedures

ATLANTA — This week, Grady Health System announced it is postponing non-emergency procedures. This is in response to the surge of COVID-19 patients coming through its doors.

In response to the need for space to treat COVID-19 patients, the hospital has even transformed some recovery rooms into extended ICU areas.

“We are over 100% and have been for several days,” said Grady Health System chief medical officer and chief of staff Dr. Robert Jansen.

Grady is also getting creative with staffing to try and meet the demand needed at this time.

“We are deploying some of the staff that normally work in the operating room to take care of patients admitted to the hospital. And in fact, we are using our recovery room as an intensive care unit because of the number of patients that we have,” said Jansen.

A surge of COVID-19 cases over the holiday weekend forced Grady Hospital to announce it is the postponing “non-essential” outpatient surgeries and procedures.

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Jansen says they are trying to find additional areas to admit patients in the hospital, but that isn’t a simple task.

“We are faced with a shortage of staff, and that makes this even worse. So even if we wanted to open alternative areas, we don’t have the staff to do it.”

The crisis is affecting hospitals across Georgia.

The overflow situation at area hospitals is also having a ripple affect on patients looking for outpatient care.