WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Officials with United Regional Health Care System issued a statement Friday afternoon regarding their critical care capacity.
Patrick Johnston, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for United Regional, said they’ve consistently been operating at or near full critical care capacity for the past month, even with expanding resources into additional areas of care such as the surgery recovery unit.
Johnston said United Regional has now reached a point where they’ve had to decline critical care patients from rural hospitals due to the lack of available staff.
According to Johnston, United Regional still attempts to assist rural facilities in finding the nearest hospital with the necessary capacity to treat the patient, but such transfers are becoming increasingly difficult.
Johnston said critical care units are full across North and West Texas, as well as in adjacent states.
“We are on the cusp of a community and regional crisis,” Phyllis Cowling, President and CEO of United Regional said. “We continue to ask the public to help us by being vigilant with safety practices.”
In addition to the continued importance of wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and washing your hands, United Regional is asking our community to limit family gatherings and travel during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
United Regional officials said these measures are the best way to prevent them from being overwhelmed by critically ill patients.
These sentiments are shared by Public Health Director Lou Kreidler, who implored residents of Wichita County to take the necessary steps to protect each other during her regular update at the Wichita Falls City Council meeting.
“I know we all want to be together and to celebrate all the things we are thankful for and just gather with our friends and family but now is not the time,” Kreidler said. “I implore you to make wise choices for you and your family and for the community.”