Local woman believes husband was discharged from hospital prematurely due to lack of beds

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- With ICU beds at 96.5% capacity and 93% of hospital beds occupied state-wide, hospital capacity is a concern here in the state of Wisconsin.

Some people have grown concerned that decisions are already being made to try and free up beds.

A woman we spoke with who wants to remain anonymous, says she's concerned her husband was discharged from St. Luke's, not because it was best for him to go home at this time, but to make room for COVID-19 patients, something officials with the hospital say isn't happening.

The woman says it all started earlier this week.

"He was being discharged. I came there and I was really surprised," she said.

She said her husband had been on 24/7 antibiotics for several days, not related to COVID-19, when she says they sent him home for at-home care.

"In all honesty, this is not the environment for him right now, it's too early," she said.

Her husband was sent home via ambulance.

Officials with Bell Ambulance said winter is their busy season, but this year is even busier.

"It's across the board there's been an increase," said Bell Ambulance Client Services Director Scott Mickelsen. "People going for appointments that maybe have been put off because of COVID, it's 911-type calls, it's hospitals discharging patients to nursing homes or homes, it's transfers between hospitals."

The woman we spoke with said if it comes to hospitals having to make a decision as to who to care for, why should the unvaccinated be prioritized?

She says both she and her husband have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and have gotten booster shots.

"I don't know why people would not take a vaccine when you wouldn't refuse a rubella or a polio," she said.

She said she feels especially sorry for all of the medical workers facing COVID-19 right now.

"And they should be protected, and the best thing to protect people is to get vaccinated and follow the protocols. It's a big word, but look it up if you don't know what protocol means," she said.

We reached out to officials with Aurora Health, who said patients are discharged when it's deemed appropriate by their medical team and clinical care team, in partnership with the patient.

They said despite challenges related to COVID-19, their commitment to providing safe, quality care remains strong.

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