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Valley hospitals face ICU bed shortage as COVID-19 surges

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Only 18 intensive care unit (ICU) beds remain available for patients in all four counties of the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported Monday.

The surge of the COVID-19 Delta variant is hurting patient's ability to recover, said Dr. Sujan Gogu, an emergency room doctor at South Texas Health System in McAllen and Laredo.

"Right now, we [are] seeing all across the state of Texas that beds are becoming very full," Gogu said. "It hurts that patient because they can't get specialists to access them. They can't get certain procedures that need to be done."

But even while facing a shortage, Gogu says the Valley may have to give out bed spaces to areas in greater need.

"In Laredo, there are only three ICU beds that are left," Gogu said. "If you need an ICU level of care— it's really difficult to get that type of bed."

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