HCA follows BayCare in pausing some non-emergency procedures in Pinellas County

HCA facilities in Pinellas County will put a hold on non-emergency procedures that require an overnight stay in the hospital in an effort to keep beds in the intensive care unit available.

The BayCare health system announced a similar decision at the end of last week, as positive COVID-19 cases soar across our region.

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According to the Agency for Healthcare Administration, 17% of adult ICU beds are available in Hillsborough County. In Pinellas, just less than 13% are available.

"I think in Pinellas, the population skews a little older than it does in Hillsborough and so, patients who are getting admitted there may be staying a little longer and that, of course, puts more of a strain on the number of beds," said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of South Florida.  "I think also there was probably a little bit more capacity and flexibility in the Hillsborough system than there was in the Pinellas system."