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UPDATE: WVU Medicine Camden Clark says low O2 supply situation is stabilized

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE 9/14/2021 7:14 P.M.

WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center says the situation is stabilized at this time. A hospital spokesperson says the hospital is coming off diversion at 7:30 p.m.

The hospital will re-evaluate in the morning. The hospital says it is continuously monitoring throughout the evening and night.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/14/2021 6:30 P.M.

WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center has begun diverting patients from its emergency room and hospital as it deals with a low oxygen supply.

That’s according to a written statement from the hospital’s CEO, Steve Altmiller.

He said the lowered oxygen supply is largely due to the increased amount of oxygen needed to treat COVID patients.

In addition to diverting patients, CCMC has canceled all non-emergent surgeries and declared a “Mini-Disaster Alert.”

Altmiller said the hospital first saw decreased pressure from its oxygen tanks early Monday morning and declared the Mini-Disaster Alert late Tuesday morning.

Hospital officials are working on a solution to the problem.

Altmiller said COVID has strained hospitals across the region and CCMC officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated.

You can read the full statement below.

Late this morning, CCMC declared a Mini-Disaster Alert and has gone on complete patient diversion for the emergency room and hospital. A Mini-Disaster Alert is defined as notification from a hospital that a physical incapacitation of a necessary functional component of the hospital has occurred, making further patient care untenable.

Beginning early morning on Monday, CCMC started experiencing decreased pressure on its oxygen supply coming from O2 storage tanks.

The issue came about due to the extraordinary increase in oxygen required to treat predominantly COVID patients. The current COIVD census has exceeded its level experienced last January.

CCMC has canceled non-emergent surgeries, Cath laboratory procedures and has shifted to supplemental oxygen from H-cylinder tanks. We have received tremendous support from our vendors, the WVU Medicine System, and Marietta Memorial Health System. We have taken additional steps to address the oxygen demand while ensuring safe and appropriate care for our patients. We are currently adding emergency oxygen tank support to stabilize our systems. We are also developing permanent solutions to the problem.

The continued increase of COVID infection in the community has severely taxed health care systems across the region. Area health systems consistently report ICUs at capacity, staffing shortages due to ill staff, and physical facilities operating at critical levels. We want to thank our partners throughout the WVU Medicine system and oxygen vendors, as well as Marietta Memorial Health System, for providing support during this challenging time. We encourage residents to continue preventive measures and become vaccinated.

Steve Altmiller, CEO, WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center

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