Florida’s Palm Beach County running out of ICU beds

Hospitals in Florida's Palm Beach County are running out of intensive care unit beds as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the area rises, according to state health data.

In the whole county, there are 443 adult ICU beds and 32 pediatric beds, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration tracker shows. However, as of Thursday, 328 of those adult beds are being used which leaves only 115 available. Meanwhile, eight pediatric beds are available.

In Palm Beach, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is more than 9,850, according to Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard. Neighboring counties Broward and Miami-Dade both have an even higher number of confirmed cases at more than 10,110 and 23,850, respectively, while Collier County has a little more than 2,880.

Broward County has 97 available adult ICU beds out of 464 and 26 pediatric ICU beds out of 63. Collier County has 20 available adult ICU beds out of 80, and no pediatric ICU beds, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration’s records.

Miami-Dade County, on the other hand, has 249 available adult ICU beds out of 973 and 11 pediatric ICU beds out of 91.

It is not clear whether pediatric ICU beds can be used for adult patients given the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis. FOX Business reached out to Palms West Hospital and the Palm Beach Health Network, which operates five local hospitals, for comment on the status of ICU beds and whether pediatric beds can be used for adults.

Palms West Hospital did not immediately respond at the time of publication.

However, a spokesperson from Palm Beach Health Network told FOX Business that the number of coronavirus cases the system has is manageable at this time.

“As the largest hospital network in Palm Beach County, the number of patients in the ICU’s across our system is manageable, and our critical care bed availability is greater than the Palm Beach County average reported by the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA)," the spokesperson wrote via email. "In the event we see a surge of cases that need to be hospitalized, our hospitals have plans in place to continue providing care safely, and include the ability to increase our critical care capacity.”

The spokesperson declined to answer follow-up questions.

The state of Florida has more than 85,920 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins. This number is slightly higher than the 83,854 confirmed cases reported by the Florida Department of Health Thursday morning, which also reported 2,072 confirmed cases for non-residents and may explain the discrepancy.