Ventilators from Hawaii’s emergency stockpile now in use as more relief nurses are on their way

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 3:49 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 4:40 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - COVID hospitalizations in Hawaii hit another all-time high Wednesday with 413 patients admitted to facilities across the state. Records shows 87% are unvaccinated.

All of the additional stress on Hawaii’s healthcare system has resources stretched thin.

“There are some individual facilities that are running out of their ventilator capabilities,” said Hilton Raethel, head of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. He added that while there are still plenty ventilators in the state, back-up supplies of emergency ventilators are now in use.

Raethel confirmed Kuakini Medical Center received four additional ventilators Tuesday from the Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management stockpile.

He added ventilators are also being shuffled between hospitals.

Overall, facilities are currently managing the influx of patients.

“Usually on Mondays and Tuesdays we see discharges. But then the numbers start ramping up again towards the end of the week,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Raethel added, “Fortunately the stress is balanced across the systems right now. So we don’t have any one hospital that is totally maxed out.”

He says that’s thanks in part to about 250 mainland nurses and respiratory therapists who arrived in Hawaii over the past week and a half. Their mission is to support Hawaii frontline caregivers who’ve been pulling double shifts and working overtime for the past month.

This weekend, an additional 300 healthcare workers from the continent are expected to arrive further bolstering capacity.

“We are expecting more COVID hospitalizations yet,” said Raethel. “We do not believe we’ve reached our peak.”

The mainland reinforcements will spend the next eight weeks in Hawaii, deployed at hospitals across the state.

Meanwhile, vaccination numbers are on the rise.

Officials say this past week an average of 5,100 shots were administered a day. That’s up nearly 40% from the previous week.

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