Tulsa Hospitals See Increase In Flu Cases; ICU Beds Filling up


Tuesday, December 6th 2022, 5:49 pm



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Tulsa hospitals said their ICU beds are filling up and the flu is a big reason why. Healthcare workers are also busy with COVID cases and RSV.

"We are definitely going to have a worse flu season than we've seen in the last few years,” Saint Francis Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Reetu Singh said.

Dr. Signh said the hospital is also seeing a 40 percent increase in COVID hospitalizations, compared to the previous week's data.

She said some patients are fighting COVID and the Flu at the same time.

"Last few years, we did not see this much of Flu because of social isolation and people were masking up and that is not the case this year. So flu is definitely on the rise,” Dr. Singh said.

Hillcrest HealthCare System said lately it has been seeing between 13 and 18 new COVID patients a day.

But on Tuesday alone, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Guy Sneed said the system saw 57 new flu patients. And these numbers are having an impact on ICU bed capacity.

"Over the last day or two, not just Hillcrest HealthCare System, but probably across Tulsa County and northeast Oklahoma, we've seen some significant capacity constraints,” Dr. Sneed said.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows last week, Oklahoma's ICU beds were 83 percent full, compared to nationwide numbers from last week, which showed ICU beds across the country were 77 percent full.

"What the community can do is just try to, I don't want to use the word isolate, but that's essentially what it's gonna be needed, is isolate the sick from the non-sick,” Dr. Travis Campbell, who is the Medical Director for The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis, said.

Health experts said this is still a good time to get Flu and COVID vaccines. They said you can get them at the same time, in the same arm, and it takes about two weeks to reach full protection.

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