"We are one of the biggest departments and hospitals in the state, and we routinely have 20-40 patients waiting in the waiting room because every inpatient bed is full. We had a complicated respiratory patient that was in the ED for 24 hours and was slowly worsening. Eventually he required intubation and was placed on a ventilator. He continued to worsen on the ventilator despite multiple emergency physicians, respiratory therapists, and even had the head of our intensive care until come bedside.
The patient ended up dying in the emergency department due to lack of inpatient beds where the appropriate ventilator was available.
The ventilators in the ED are made for transporting patients and are only meant for management of uncomplicated patients or complicated patients over a short time interval. Despite the highest level of expertise at the bedside, the ventilator was unable to be adjusted to appropriately manage this patient's needs. There were zero beds available in the hospital despite many attempts to move patients around. The patient ended up dying in the emergency department due to lack of inpatient beds where the appropriate ventilator was available."