The family of an Alabama man who died after struggling to find an available hospital bed due to full cardiac ICUs within 200 miles is urging skeptical Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Ray Martin DeMonia, 73, died from complications after a heart attack just three days before his 74th birthday, his family said, after 43 full hospitals forced him to seek care far from home.
"In honor of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non-COVID-related emergencies," the obituary read, Fox-8 reported.
Alabama Hospital Association Deputy Director Danne Howard says the situation in the state from the COVID-19 surge is at its peak since the start of the pandemic.
"I can't predict what’s going to happen tomorrow, but we're certainly not trending in the right direction," Howard told Fox 8.
Hospitals might have the beds, Howard noted, but the personnel shortages are problematic.
"That's why we're so aggressively trying to find additional resources, so those decisions don't have to be made, so those types of life-or-death situations are not something that have to be faced," Howard added.
Alabama reported being 83 ICU beds short statewide Tuesday and 94 short Wednesday, and more than half of the patients are COVID-19 positive, according to the report.
"We're not throwing in the towel, but it is a dire and serious situation," Howard said.
Hurricane Ida has been a complicating factor in the bed and personnel shortages, too, according to the report.
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