Maui Hospital Sees Small Drop in COVID Patient Numbers | News, Sports, Jobs
Following records for COVID-19 patients treated at Maui’s only acute care hospital, inpatient data this month shows a slight decline in hospitalizations linked to the virus.
However, officials warned the Maui Memorial Medical Center was not out of the woods, especially because it was “rather busy” with people also receiving medical care unrelated to COVID.
âWhile our COVID numbers have declined slightly, we are not yet out of this wave and are closely monitoring any increase in positive cases next week, which follows the Labor Day holiday exposure period for a need. potential hospitalization “, Maui Health spokeswoman Tracy Dallarda said Thursday.
Maui Memorial, which has 219 licensed beds, treated 53 COVID-19 hospital patients during the month of July.
The hospital reached a pandemic peak when it affected 40 COVID-19 hospital patients in a single day in August. That month, a total of 111 hospitalized patients were treated.
This month, the number of COVID-19 hospital patients ranged from 28 on September 1 to a high of 36 on September 8. Over the past week, single-day volume has fallen into its twenties.
As of Thursday, there were 17 hospital patients, according to data from Maui Health.
The figures do not include the number of COVID patients who are seen, treated and discharged from the emergency department, Dallarda said.
Driven by the highly transmissible delta variant, cases of COVID-19 increased across Hawaii in the weeks following July 4 and into August.
State hospitals were approaching or exceeding capacity, boosting the framework of âStandards of care in a crisisâ. State-approved measures of last resort, once activated, would release health systems from liability if resources, such as oxygen or beds, were depleted.
No hospital in Hawaii has been activated “Crisis standards” and some resources have poured in.
A new medical-grade oxygen generator on-site at Maui Memorial has helped meet demand from intensive care unit patients.
The hospital received the generator from Kaiser Permanente on September 3; it was installed and tested last week before going live.
During the month of August, when cases of COVID-19 were on the rise, the hospital used about three times more medical-grade oxygen than normal when cases were fewer, Dallarda said.
Now that Maui is seeing a slight drop in the number of COVID-19 hospital patients this month, staff may “Easily manage daily O2 needs”, she added.
Hospitals use oxygen to help patients with COVID-19, as well as those with emphysema and lung cancer, according to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. Critical care patients are typically on high-flow oxygen or on a ventilator, and the majority of hospitalized COVID patients are on high-flow oxygen.
The machine increases the supply of liquid oxygen supplied weekly by Airgas on Oahu, Dallarda said.
There are two liquid oxygen plants in the state: Airgas and Matheson Tri-Gas. Both are operating at full capacity and have switched to medical gas production only.
“Between the oxygen management program and the use of the generator, we were able to significantly reduce the use of liquid O2” Dallarda said Wednesday. “The use of liquid O2 comes and goes with the number of patients who need O2 at any given time.”
Meanwhile, Maui County recorded the highest number of clusters in the state with 35, according to the state Department of Health’s cluster report released Thursday.
Education circles, along with the travel, accommodation, and tourism category sparked the most clusters and cases for Maui County in the past 14 days.
Eleven clusters were linked to 134 cases in total in educational institutions and 11 clusters were linked to 162 cases in travel, accommodation and tourism. Three clusters in construction and industry had 32 cases; two clusters of food suppliers had 27 cases; one group of restaurants had eight cases; a “Other profession” the parameter group had seven cases; and six more clusters resulted in 99 cases. In total, the Maui County clusters were linked to 469 cases.
Oahu only had a handful of clusters, but the island had the highest case volume, led by a cluster of correctional facilities that now has 298 cases. In total, the Oahu clusters were linked to 495 cases.
In August, the Maui District Health Unit investigated 26 cases of COVID-19 at a public elementary school in Maui, according to Thursday’s report.
In collaboration with the school administration, investigators discovered epidemiological links between school cases. A total of 23 cases, or 88% of cases, were exposed outside of school, with most student cases infected by household members with COVID-19. Household members with COVID-19 have been exposed primarily at summer camps, in the workplace, or during activities in places of worship.
The school reported that 60 percent of staff were vaccinated; the student population is under 12 and is therefore not eligible for vaccination, according to the DOH.
Dallarda recalled that the Maui hospital was not yet clear and urged people to continue to protect themselves, get vaccinated if possible, and avoid large crowds.
She also asked people to thank a healthcare worker.
“To send a virtual thank you message, please visit www.mauihealth.org/gratitude-wall,” she said. “They really get your messages and it brightens their day.”