An ER Doctor’s Nightmarish Search for Phantom COVID Beds
“People die and it opens up a bed... That’s how it works.”
Arizona was reporting the state had 175 vacant ICU beds, but Dr. Cleavon Gilman could not find a single hospital to accept ICU transfers from his overtaxed rural facility as he worked Sunday into Monday.
“Where are the 175 ICU beds?” the 41-year-old emergency medicine physician asked when he spoke to The Daily Beast on Sunday evening. “They say it’s 175 beds available. That’s not what we’re hearing. We’re hearing there are NO beds available.”
On previous days, when the need arose, Gilman had simply arranged to have a patient flown to another hospital just as he might have arranged a medevac when he was a combat Navy corpsman with the Marines in Iraq in 2004. But that was not an option when he arrived at work on Sunday.