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'We are on the edge': UAMS chancellor says ICU is full

Chancellor Cam Patterson said on Friday that hospitals are "at the edge." (Photo: KATV){p}{/p}
Chancellor Cam Patterson said on Friday that hospitals are "at the edge." (Photo: KATV)

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The intensive care unit at UAMS is completely full, Chancellor Cam Patterson said on Friday.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that it is not unusual for the 52-bed ICU to be full, and they are not all COVID-19 patients. But in a special episode of PBS's 'Arkansas Week,' Patterson said that hospitals in Arkansas are "at the edge" of their capacity for virus patients.

"We are clearly on the edge," he said. "We are on the edge with respect to our ability to manage patients who are coming into our facilities...And we know that the number of cases are going to continue to rise over the coming weeks."

During the show, Patterson called for a uniformed, statewide policy on masking and a more dedicated federal response. He stressed that social distancing and masking is not a political issue.

Patterson said he is concerned about the capacity of hospitals in Arkansas heading into a peak in COVID-19 cases projected for the end of October.

"At some point, while we may have the resources across the entire state, to take care of every COVID-19 patient, those resources aren't necessarily going to be in the right place," Patterson said.

You can watch the full episode here.

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