Intermountain doctors urge Utahns to get vaccinated as ICU occupancy nears 100%

Sep 17, 2021, 12:57 PM | Updated: 12:58 pm

FILE (Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare)...

FILE (Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare)

(Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare)

SALT LAKE CITY — Doctors with Intermountain Healthcare urged Utahns to get vaccinated as they continue to see a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Intermountain leaders said it’s been a trend for weeks — more cases and hospitalizations because of the delta variant, ICUs are overcapacity and they’re losing health care workers who are overworked and tired.

More than 95% of Utah’s ICU beds were occupied as of Friday morning, and Intermountain officials said ICUs and acute care units at their hospitals have regularly exceeded 100% capacity over the last several weeks.

Even if there is a ventilator or a bed available, Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious diseases physician with Intermountain Healthcare, said that bed is worthless because there aren’t nurses and practitioners who can care for that sick patient.

The delta variant is much more aggressive than earlier coronavirus strains, and they’ve seen healthy people put on ventilators.

They added the data is showing the vaccine can really help lessen the severity of the illness.

Vento also addressed claims by some who have questioned if Utah hospitals are overwhelmed.

“If you’re a nurse in the ICU right now for example and you’ve taken care of COVID patients who are really sick in the ICU on ventilators for multiple days in a row, and you come home and hear folks say, ‘Oh, that’s not true, they have more capacity, they’re not overwhelmed’ — that’s being part of the problem,” he said. “That’s not being part of the solution.”

If Utah’s vaccination rates don’t increase, Vento warned the Beehive State could end up like Idaho, which has activated crisis standards of care because of the massive number of COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalized.

“The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident,” Idaho Department of Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said in statement.

Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge drags on

Our best defense is to continue practicing social distancing, limit gatherings and wear masks indoors, even if you’re vaccinated.

KSL 5 TV Live


Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

8 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

20 days ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

1 month ago

Toddlers dance during play time at Living Water Child Care and Learning Center as center director J...

Associated Press

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families, providers scramble to cope

After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday Utah

2 months ago

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly, right, announces the winner of the 2023 Nobel Pri...

David Keyton and Mike Corder

Nobel in medicine goes to 2 scientists whose work enabled creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and could be used in the future to create other shots.

2 months ago

child in doctor's office...

Mike Anderson

Flu, COVID cases expected to rise in Utah

The number of COVID-19 diagnoses continues to stay above what we saw over the summer but now some doctors are starting to see early signs of the flu as well.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Intermountain doctors urge Utahns to get vaccinated as ICU occupancy nears 100%