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Q: Is the ICU at full capacity? Does the hospital have enough ventilators?

The census of the ICU fluctuates from day to day, as it does in the rest of the hospital. Maui Memorial has 31 ICU beds, divided between two units. Since COVID, we have designated one of the ICU units as a “warm unit” which is an isolation unit for any positive or suspected COVID cases. That may cause confusion as different agencies report on our “ICU capacity” may only consider one of the two units we have available for ICU level care.

When the “non-COVID” ICU has filled up, it is usually because a patient who no longer needs critical care is waiting to be moved to another part of the hospital. When this happens, staff monitor the situation and develop a plan for which patients to move if another critical patient arrives.

Maui Memorial has 42 standard ventilators that are mainly used in the critical care units. The hospital also has other devices that can be used as ventilators in an emergency, including anesthesia machines and bridge ventilators. Currently, we have at least 60 total devices for respiratory support and the average number of ventilators in use each day is five.

Michael J. Shea , MD

Critical care medicine

Maui Memorial Medical Center
221 Mahalani Street
Wailuku, HI 96793