Cook Children’s halts surgeries, diverts patients in ‘dire’ situation amid COVID surge

·2 min read

Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth is halting elective surgeries and has had to divert patients from the hospital as the latest COVID-19 surge has created a staffing and bed shortage, spokesperson Justice Harkless said in a press release Thursday.

The medical center is experiencing a shortage of pediatric beds, like many hospitals in the area, and has had to reschedule all elective surgeries that require inpatient admission to Oct. 11 or later.

Harkless said there are a limited amount of beds available and room is needed for critically ill children who must be hospitalized and more nurses are needed in areas like ICUs.

“As more and more inpatient beds are needed with no end in sight, the situation is dire,” Harkless said in the release.

Tarrant County reported 25 COVID-19 deaths and 1,564 new cases on Thursday as the latest surge fueled by the delta variant continues.

As of Thursday, Cook Children’s Medical Center has 39 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, with 13 in the ICU.

The medical center is also having to divert patients when beds are not available and is taking patients from other regions whenever possible.

“It’s unfortunate that we are physically unable to care for all of the children who need us right now,” Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Petersen said in the release. “If we have to divert a patient away from Cook Children’s, we ensure we find them an appropriate facility, though that may be several hours away from home or even in another state.”

Harkless said half of the COVID-19 patients who have been treated since the vaccine was approved for children 12 and older have been unvaccinated teenagers and that not a single vaccinated patient has been treated for severe COVID-19 symptoms.

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