HELENA, Mont. - St. Peter's Health in Helena is moving into Crisis Standard of Care Thursday as the facility experiences an influx of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Crisis Standard of Cara means the not every patient will get the care they are in need of.
In a video conference, Dr. Shelly Harkins, chief medical officer and regional president at St. Peter's Health, said St. Peter's has seen critical care resources reach maximum capacity, and has seen more than 20 patients with COVID-19 at a time over the past three weeks.
The intensive care unit and the advanced medical unit have reached 100 percent capacity. And despite having adding a full morgue on top of that, Dr. Harkins has an important message for those in need of medical care.
"True emergencies will always receive priority. Outpatient care and our clinics, preventative care, emergency care, it is all still available, and it is very safe for you to come and receive that care. So, please seek the care you need to stay healthy."
Scarce resource allocation will be used with oxygen and "MAVS", which is the drug they are using to treat COVID-19 patients. That means all COVID-19 patients will be receiving partial treatment rather than one patient receiving full treatment and the others receiving nothing.
Several mountain wet-area hospitals have been reaching out to St. peter's to see if they have any beds available. But with no space themselves, they have to keep turning those families away.