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State takes stock of hospital supplies as COVID-19 cases rise

FOX43 asked state officials and local hospitals for specifics on the numbers of beds, ventilators, and masks currently available to patients statewide.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is taking stock of hospital supplies as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the state. 

FOX43 asked for specifics on the numbers of beds, ventilators, and masks currently available to patients statewide.

FOX43 also reached out to local hospitals regarding supplies. 

Read below to see all responses.

Supply numbers statewide per the PA Dept of Health, as of March 22:

ICU BEDS

  • 3400 licensed ICU beds currently in the state
  • Approximately 40% of ICU beds are still available
  • "We anticipate a surge that will require the state to need to use additional beds as ICU beds."

VENTILATORS

  • Pennsylvania has more than 2000 ventilators across the state within the healthcare systems, our EMS community, and in stockpiles that are sufficient for normal and surge healthcare delivery operations.  We are continuing to work to ensure that should the system be severely taxed, we have access to more ventilators.
  • Approximately 75% of ventilators are available
  • "We hope that the mitigation efforts taken in Pennsylvania will prevent us from needing more ventilators than we have, but we are taking steps to get more if needed."

N95 MASKS

  • The commonwealth, before our first case of COVID-19, had more than 1 million masks available to assist our frontline responders and healthcare workers. We are continuing to procure more and also receive N95 masks from the federal stockpile.
  • Because of the constant work being done in regards to masks, we do not have an estimate of what is available. We are working around the clock to ensure those who need N95 masks have access to them, while also working through traditional and non-traditional means to get them. 
  • "We anticipate that we will need to use all the masks we have, and likely will need more.”

The PA Health Department added, “we are working through generous companies in Pennsylvania working to assist, through non-traditional means such as other industries that have masks, from our stores and from the federal government.” The department said it has also received several shipments from the national stockpile. 

RELATED: Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19: 207 New Positives, Bringing Statewide Total to 851

RELATED: Coronavirus Q&A: Chris DeFlitch, MD - Penn State Health

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said this about supplies at Harrisburg hospital, "we are very fortunate to have a world-class hospital right here in the city. I think that’s something that will really benefit us. Everyone is making sure that the hospital is getting the supplies that it needs and is able to service individuals and there are many different plans at the ready for increasing the number of beds and making sure people get the life-sustaining support that they need."

PENN STATE HEALTH MILTON S. HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER AND PENN STATE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

"For now, capacity and operations at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital continue as normal. Our supplies of medical equipment and personal protective equipment are adequate. We are prepared to care for multiple COVID-19 patients, should the need arise. Penn State Health has worked around the clock to adapt policies and procedures and prepare its teams. That work is ongoing with steps and actions taken daily in response to new developments.

"Part of that extensive planning is continuously evaluating our policies and guidelines for use of personal protective equipment to best ensure that we will have adequate supply moving forward. Penn State Health is cancelling nonessential, elective surgeries and procedures to help preserve medical supplies and personal protective equipment that may be needed to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Penn State Health is grateful for the amount of outreach from various communities offering to make or donate supplies. Health system leadership is in the process of determining which supplies to accept and how we can best use them. I will have more information as those guidelines are developed in the coming days.”

 -- Barbara Schindo, Media Relations Specialist, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine

UPMC

"We anticipate that most patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will not need to be admitted and will recover at home. For patients who are admitted to a health care facility, we have a multitude of hospital and nonhospital locations throughout our 40-hospital network, including 7 hospitals in central PA, that we can leverage for different types of clinical needs. As always, our UPMC hospitals operate with the robust ability to adapt to demands by sharing facilities, resources and expertise across our vast system. 

"Be assured that UPMC facilities and staff are well-equipped to properly care for patients. We have a strong supply chain system to ensure we are receiving personal protective equipment and everything needed for patient care. We are  tracking our allocation of these supplies to our facilities to make sure they have what they need but that none is being wasted.   

As for donations, we are humbled by the outpouring of support from the community interested in donating supplies to ensure we are prepared for the potential rise in COVID-19 cases across the regions we serve. We are asking that those with the desire to donate goods or services, please use the contact us form on UPMCPinnacle.com/Contact. A Supply Chain donation coordinator will review the items being offered to UPMC for donation, record the information, and confirm that they fit our mission and current and future needs.”

-- Kelly McCall, UPMC Spokesperson

WELLSPAN YORK HOSPITAL

"Our teams continue to prepare for the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Each of our facilities across the health system are adequately equipped to respond to the needs of our patients at this time. However, resources are an important consideration, which is why we are all placing an emphasis on prevention. It’s important to remember that the best way to prevent potential spread is to adhere to the calls for social distancing. Additionally, we continue to receive daily shipments of PPE and other resources, meaning our numbers are constantly changing. We have no critical shortages at this time.

"We know we will see more positive cases of the new coronavirus disease throughout our region in the coming days and weeks. With this in mind, we know that personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks, will be important as we work to protect our staff and patients while also caring for those who are sick in our communities. We are currently in the process of developing a plan for accepting donations of materials and equipment from our generous community partners, friends and neighbors. We hope to be able to share more, soon. In the meantime we continue to place an emphasis on prevention. It’s important to remember that the best way to prevent the spread of this disease is to adhere to the calls for social distancing."

-- Ryan Coyle, spokesperson

PENN MEDICINE LANCASTER GENERAL HEALTH

"Like hospitals and health systems across the nation, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health faces supply chain challenges to ensure the continued safety of our staff as they work to care for patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are continuously evaluating and adapting our procedures for the use of personal protective equipment to ensure good stewardship of limited supplies of masks and other equipment. We have received many generous offers of support and services to benefit our patients, our staff and community. We are working with community members and our LGH sewing volunteers who have offered their services to sew masks. They are working from a standard template that our infectious disease experts have reviewed to ensure the cloths masks provide adequate protection."

-- Mary Ann Eckard, spokesperson