Aspirus saving hospital beds for the ‘sickest of the sick’

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — One of central Wisconsin’s largest health systems is planning to send some coronavirus patients home in order to make sure there are enough hospital beds for the “sickest of the sick.”

Aspirus CEO Matt Heywood said at a news conference Wednesday that facilities at its Wausau hospital are nearly full and staff resources are strained. As a result, Heywood said, the hospital is going to move some patients who would otherwise be hospitalized into home care.

Heywood said they will rely on nursing calls and telecommunication and will ask patients’ family members to help provide care, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

“We’re going to call upon the community and their loved ones to help us care for these patients,” Heywood said.

Aspirus Wausau Hospital is the latest Wisconsin hospital to reach capacity as patient counts spike in Wisconsin.

Earlier this month, Mayo Clinic Health System in western Wisconsin announced that it would suspend elective medical procedures to try to manage its hospital capacities. And earlier this week, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin said it would accept non-COVID-19 adult patients to take pressure off other Milwaukee area hospitals.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin Hospital Association data showed 2,277 coronavirus patients are hospitalized across the state, the highest recorded so far in the pandemic.

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