Hospital ICU capacity – MN, national

The justification for emergency powers and “lockdown” was to slow down the number of people dying so healthcare facilities wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Data shows facilities were never in jeopardy of being overwhelmed.

Note that they have changed their reporting from early in 2020. At the start of the year they reported that our ICU capacity was 2,595, including beds that could be made ready within 72 hours. On May 30th Minnesota hit a peak of 263 people in ICU with COVID. The non-COVID ICU use dwarfed the COVID needs.

Even at “peak” Minnesota hospitals ICU beds were only at 10% of potential quick response capacity.

The chart shows a peaked in early December with just under 400 COVID cases in ICU. When they say “hospitals are overwhelmed,” it is not all hospitals; it may just be one hospital at a time that experiences a surge.

The CDC confirmed that the COVID-19 PCR test cannot distinguish between COVID-19 and the flu, so the statistics are not accurate.

“Capacity” is usually quoted as “staffed capacity,” which is less than half of what is available in an emergency. If there was a true emergency, the likely problem would be lack of staff, not lack of rooms/beds.

Data are not always clear, due to where, and how the data are being sourced. The data available lacks explanations and definitions. It is certainly confusing that they say some data is from 2018. We may have to accept that not all hospitals are going to give current data on how many ICU beds are available – you just can’t sample that constantly in real time. Thus, we end up with datasets which include “last known data”.

You can zoom in on the map and hover over any region and get breakdowns of how many beds there are, and what the occupancy rate is. For example, we can see that in Scott county they show ZERO staffed ICU beds — yet we know that Scott county does have ICU beds!

If the raw data is downloaded, it shows that on November 27, 2020, Minnesota had 1,848 staffed ICU beds. This is a lot higher than the 1,212 ICU beds that the Minnesota government site shows currently!

Fairview in Burnsville claims 12 staffed ICU beds. Once can conclude that roughly 10 of those beds were in use (but probably with only a couple COVID patients).

We are given misleading data and inaccurate data. If we look at the raw data, the situation simply isn’t as scary as the narrative makes it seem.

One thought on “Hospital ICU capacity – MN, national

  1. Found your site — thank you!! I thought these ICU numbers had changed dramatically and that maybe I’d lost my mind.

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