Infant with COVID airlifted to hospital 170 miles away because of bed shortage

By , 1080 KRLD

Healthcare workers in Texas airlifted an 11-month-old infant with COVID-19 to a hospital more than 100 miles away because beds in the pediatric unit are scant, CNN reported.

A spokesperson for Harris Health System confirmed the child tested positive for the coronavirus and needed doctors to intubate after suffering several seizures. The outlet reported that the initial hospital where the child was taken did not offer pediatric care.

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None of the hospitals that specialize in children’s health had any beds available, the system said.

A medical helicopter flew the infant to a hospital in Temple, Texas, about 170 miles away.

The president of Harris Health said there is not enough staff to cover the number of COVID patients they’re seeing. More than 50% of the ICU patients tested positive for the virus.

“We are not talking about a crisis a week, 10 days, 14 days from now. We are in a crisis mode today,” CEO Esmaeil Porsa told KHOU 11.

Amid the delta variant’s spread, Harris Health admitted 336 COVID-19 patients Thursday, the highest number since February, CNN said.

“We are back beyond our pre-pandemic volumes at LBJ,” one hospital administrator told KTRK.

The White House said this week that Texas and Florida account for one-third of the entire country’s newly reported COVID cases. It’s especially concerning because of low vaccination rates. President Biden said at least 70% of U.S. adults had received at least one shot of the vaccine.

Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared, “Lockdowns are wrong,” claiming Texans could best decide how to “protect themselves” as individuals.

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