Akron, Canton hospitals near capacity as COVID cases surge

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:02 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Hospitals in Akron and Canton are being stretched to capacity as COVID cases continue to surge, and there does not appear to be an end in sight as cases continue to climb.

Dr. John Crow, a pediatric surgeon at Akron Children’s Hospital is the lead of the Region 5 Covid Surge Committee which includes the Akron, Canton and Youngstown areas and he said resources are being stretched extremely thin.

“The capacity of the occupancy is close to 100% across the board,” Dr. Crow said, “Patients are in the emergency room, in the hospital for a half a day or longer until they can find beds for them.”

One patient has already been sent from an Akron hospital to Cleveland because there was not an available bed.

That could be the trend until this surge of cases eases.

The holiday weekend and the pullback of elective surgeries should help ease the capacity load, but that is by no means a long-term solution.

However, Dr. Crow believes the vaccine is the long-term solution.

He hopes people who have not been vaccinated re-evaluate their position as the COVID surge is not only taking a toll on hospital capacity, but taking a toll on health care workers as well.

“They’re exhausted; they are burned out and exhausted,” Dr. Crow said, “I think everybody because the vaccine helps so much with this disease, they are really stressed and they are really not very happy that people continue to not get vaccinated ending up the hospital as sick as ever.”

Dr. Crow said the number of COVID patients in the hospital who have not been vaccinated is at least 90% and the number in ICU is higher than that.

Hospitals in the Akron and Canton areas may be nearing capacity but patients who are sick or in need of emergency treatment are urged to go to your local hospital for treatment; you will be seen and treated.

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