Seattle hospital over 130 percent capacity, no longer admitting non-emergency patients

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Harborview Medical Center in Seattle announced Thursday that the facility is over capacity by approximately 150 patients, and will have to temporarily stop admitting patients with less acute conditions, diverting people to other facilities for treatment.

The hospital’s licensed capacity is 413 but has more than 560 inpatients, meaning that capacity is over 130 percent. Other area hospitals report ready and willing to work with the medical center which all said they could “surge” to accommodate additional patients.

According to a release from the hospital, there are also over 100 patients who are waiting to be discharged.

Harborview CEO Sommer Kleweno Walley said, “Given the unique position Harborview has in the community as the level 1 trauma center, as the disaster center, and here for all critical illness, we had to make a very difficult decision today – one that has been weighing on our minds as UW Medicine leadership.”

“In order to ensure that we maintain our critical capacity for any type of trauma that is needed in our region and for any type of critical illness, we have moved to going on what we call ‘basic life support divert.’ Patients not in need of more urgent care will be needed to be taken care of and brought by ambulances to other hospitals surrounding Harborview in the area. Harborview for this time period will no longer be able to take care of the less acute patients in order to maintain our capacity.”

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