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Queen’s West declares state of emergency as hospital beds dwindle

The Queen’s Health Systems has once again declared an “internal state of emergency” for Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu, where the rate of hospital admissions is outpacing the number of available beds.

The internal declaration sets into motion certain response procedures that give the QMC-West emergency department more time to relieve pressures — such as time to transfer higher acuity patients to Queen’s Medical Center at Punchbowl.

“There are 104 beds at QMC-West,” said Jason Chang Queen’s Chief Operating Officer in a news release. “As of 3 p.m. we have 112% inpatient occupancy. In the Emergency Department we currently have 58 patients and 16 inpatients holding.”

About 25 of those patients are COVID-19 patients, according to Queen’s.

In addition, Chang said 96 health care providers there are out due to COVID exposure.

QMC-West, however, is not shut down, Chang said, and area residents should still go to the hospital if they have an emergency.

“The safety and well-being of our patients and staff remain our highest priority,” said Chang.

Queen’s also declared an internal state of emergency for Queen’s-West in late August, during the height of the Delta surge.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Hawaii hospitals continues to rise, with 312 listed by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency dashboard today, up from 248 on Friday. Of the 312 patients, 31 are in intensive care and 13 on ventilators.

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