Who’s Got ICU Beds?

ICU beds per 100,000 people aged 60 and older, by hospital referral region

As Virginians try to formulate rational COVID-19 policy, it would be helpful to know how many ICU beds there are in Virginia hospitals. We’ve got a handle on the count of acute-care beds, but the number of ICU beds, reserved for the most critically ill patients, is perhaps an even more critical. Virginia public health authorities have not released that number, as far as I can tell, and I can’t find the data on the Internet. However, the Wall Street Journal did obtain data for ICU beds in Virginia’s hospital referral regions and published the map above showing ICU beds per 100,000 people aged 60 and older.

Here’s a close-up of Virginia:

The Washington Post breaks it down a little differently: ICU beds per 10,000 Americans aged 16 and over. The WaPo provides the following numbers for Virginia HRRs:

Arlington — 2.3
Lynchburg — 2.5
Winchester 2.5
Charlottesville — 3.2
Norfolk — 3.3
Richmond — 3.5
United States average — 3.6
Newport News — 3.6
Roanoke — 4.7

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5 responses to “Who’s Got ICU Beds?”

  1. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Jim, just to say, your coverage if the pandemic is first rare

    1. Thanks, Peter. I appreciate that coming from another journalism veteran.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Interesting, but with the moves to create satellite facilities and convert other beds to ICU use, already dated. The CEO of INOVA was on CNBC just a few minutes ago and sounded fairly confident, while admitting the worst was still to come.

  3. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    A key question might be how many beds have been eliminated in Virginia over past 2o years. Where were they eliminated and why? How did these ratios of beds to population move up or down over time. In New York City there as been a substantial deduction of beds since 2000, according to Cuomo.

    There also is the strong suggestion of emerging patterns in health care that work in tandem with Certificates of need to detriment of patients. Patterns that throttle holistic practical health care that the public increasingly needs. These counter productive trends include the over computerized regulation and control of health care, its focus on extreme efficiency to maximize profits at the expense of effective care, long and short term, with far too much emphasis on moving patients and procedures quickly through “systems” irrespective of outcome, real needs, real and effective results.

    This includes ever more highly refined and ever more tighter control of resources (humans, medicines, infrastructures, and practices) that maximize high profit volumes and sheer off low margin activity, that often falsely minimize costs, and compromise real quality. Things like low in time delivery that work on even narrower margins for error.

    This is an attitude of bean counters that overtakes an entire system, straggling health care year by year, that also oddly balloons collateral non essential costs that benefit non essential people while starving primary care doctors, nurses, etc.

    So Meanwhile, costs soar, quality falls, and overall health spirals downward, as more patients fall apart. I have seen this happen again and again. Now, this virus exposes a raft of bad habits for the world to see.

  4. Beds are important, but it takes testing, testing, testing to keep folks OUT of them.

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