ORLANDO, Fla. – AdventHealth officials said they are treating a record-high number of COVID patients across the Central Florida health care system.
Dr. Eduardo Oliveria, the executive medical director for AdventHealth critical care services, participated in the hospital’s morning briefing on Thursday.
He said the latest COVID-19 wave is putting a strain on the health care system.
“When you look back at wave one, wave two, this is the highest number of patients that we’ve treated with COVID so far,” Oliveria said. “It’s definitely putting a certain level of strain on the system as far as our ability to care for all of those patients. We’ve done that very well so far, but the numbers are pretty high.”
“More than 90% of the patients that come to the ICU that are really sick, they require mechanically ventilation or almost about to require mechanical ventilation or the breathing tube to be able to help them breathe, they are unvaccinated,” Oliveria said.
Last week, the hospital upgraded to black status, which means it is deferring all non-emergency surgeries to free up resources and staff for the expected influx of COVID patients.
Oliveria said he is treating patients in the ICU who wish they had gotten the vaccine.
“By what we see so far, many of those patients and many of those families would have made a different choice if they were given that opportunity,” he said.
He adds it is up to everyone to do their part and get the vaccine.
“I ultimately believe that folks will realize that getting vaccinated is the way out of this pandemic and, hopefully, by this Christmas, we’re going to be all gathering in a much more free way, a much more welcoming way and not have to worry as much about that,” Oliveria said.
Oliveria said of the vaccinated hospitalizations, those patients have underlying illnesses, or their immune systems are compromised.
Orlando Health also released its latest COVID hospitalizations. As of Thursday, officials said there are 573 in-house COVID-positive patients and 91% of patients are in the intensive care unit. Orlando Health said approximately 90% of the COVID inpatients are unvaccinated.