Kansas man, 44, dies after minor routine operation went wrong because all ICU beds were filled with COVID patients as infections surge in the state

 A family says a Kansas man who needed critical care following a routine procedure died waiting for a spot in the ICU because too many COVID patients were taking up beds.  

Robert Van Pelt, 44, died after waiting three days for an ICU bed to open up after he flatlined while undergoing a routine medical procedure under light sedation, his family said in a GoFundMe set up to help pay for funeral expenses. 

After going several minutes without oxygen Van Pelt was revived and had to be life-flighted to the nearest emergency hospital with a cardiac team but was not able to get immediate care because COVID patients took up too many hospital beds.  

Robert Van Pelt, 44, (pictured) died after waiting three days for an ICU bed to open up after he flatlined while undergoing a routine medical procedure under light sedation

Robert Van Pelt, 44, (pictured) died after waiting three days for an ICU bed to open up after he flatlined while undergoing a routine medical procedure under light sedation

Robert Van Pelt's family is mourning the father and husband after he could not find an open ICU bed due to an influx of COVID-19 patients filling up hospitals

Robert Van Pelt's family is mourning the father and husband after he could not find an open ICU bed due to an influx of COVID-19 patients filling up hospitals 

COVID deaths in Kansas have risen significantly over the last month as the state is running out of ICU beds

COVID deaths in Kansas have risen significantly over the last month as the state is running out of ICU beds

'There are a lot of people who don't believe the hospitals are full. That's really hard to listen to when one of my friends' husband was lying in a hospital dying because he couldn't get the treatment he needed because the beds were full,' family friend Liz Hamer told KWCH.com

His family said Kansas hospitals reached out to 20 states, trying to find just one available ICU bed, but there wasn’t a single ICU bed open and emergency rooms were full. 


'The family will never know if having an open hospital bed or open neuro ICU beds, specifically in any of the 20 states, could have found urgent care,' Hamer said. 'They'll never know if that could have kept him here. And that's something that's extra hard for them to carry right now.'

By the time St. Francis hospital in Wichita had an ICU bed open for Van Pelt, it was too late for the 44-year-old.  

Van Pelt's story might become more common as the COVID surge, fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, has left thousands of Americans hospitalized and in critical care. 

His family said Kansas hospitals reached out to 20 states, trying to find just one available ICU bed, but there wasn’t a single ICU bed open and the E.Rs were full

His family said Kansas hospitals reached out to 20 states, trying to find just one available ICU bed, but there wasn’t a single ICU bed open and the E.Rs were full

Family friend Liz Hamer (pictured) says Van Pelt's family wants to spread awareness about the current state of hospitals

Family friend Liz Hamer (pictured) says Van Pelt's family wants to spread awareness about the current state of hospitals


On Tuesday, the U.S. recorded 135,245 cases of COVID-19 with a seven-day rolling average of 151,005, a 145% increase from the 61,451 average reported four weeks ago.

Deaths have also risen with 1,405 virus-related fatalities recorded on Tuesday and a seven-day rolling average of 1,043, a 320% spike from the average of 248 reported 28 days ago prior.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services , 77.34 percent of all ICU beds - or 65,642 out of 84,935 staffed beds - across the country are currently in use.

Of those beds in use, 36.6 percent, or 24,084, are being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Doctors say that many of the patients they are seeing are younger people who did not get vaccinated compared to high-risk older patients seen earlier during the pandemic.

Hamer says Van Pelt's family wants to spread awareness about the current state of hospitals.

'People need to understand this is a real present danger for families,' she told KWCH.com  'Car accidents happen, heart attacks happen, trauma happens, and there may not be care for you in the hospital if we can't get this under control.'   

Kansas man, 44, dies after minor routine operation went wrong because all ICU beds were filled with COVID patients as infections surge in the state Kansas man, 44, dies after minor routine operation went wrong because all ICU beds were filled with COVID patients as infections surge in the state Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:45 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.