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Piedmont Athens Regional Response to Strain on ICU Bed Supply

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Throughout the pandemic, Piedmont Athens Regional has accepted transfers of patients from within its GEMA region – and also from outside of it. It is our plan today and moving forward to continue to take these transfers as our capacity permits. Many of the patients that we accept do not require ICU beds. Nonetheless, we have expanded our ICU capacity and, fortunately, we continue to benefit from the size and integration of our system, allowing us to share resources and provide support when there is increased demand.

At times during the past few months, we have accepted patients from all over Georgia in fulfillment of our mission as a nonprofit system. The creation of the COVID Expansion Unit (CEU) at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, which opened Tuesday in conjunction with the state and which will have capacity for up to 100 patients, will alleviate pressure on us to treat patients outside of our region so that we can concentrate on caring for patients within our 17-county region. In addition, we are in constant communication with St. Mary’s locally to discuss and address capacity issues that periodically arise.

The vast majority of patients in Piedmont Athens Regional are not being treated for COVID-19. We continue to treat patients for both routine and emergent visits, major surgeries, and labor and delivery. These patients, combined with the volume of COVID patients, are populating our hospital. We urge everyone to continue doing their part to keep themselves and loved ones safe across COVID-19, but equally to seek care immediately when faced with an emergency medical situation.

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