South Dakota includes NICU beds in ICU count, DOH officials say

KELOLAND.com Original

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The number of staffed intensive care unit beds in South Dakota includes ICU beds for babies called neonatal intensive beds or NICU beds according to the South Dakota Department of Health.

“We’re just looking at total ICU beds. We don’t break it down specifically,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, the epidemiologist for the DOH, said during the Nov. 10 news briefing. Clayton said the DOH gets total ICU beds from health care organizations in the state.

Clayton and DOH Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said media could obtain a breakdown of the ICU and NICU beds after the news briefing. But the DOH did not respond to a KELOLAND News email requesting that information on Nov. 10 as of 4:45 p.m.

Clayton said general ICU beds make up the largest share of ICU bed totals in the state.

A NICU unit is designed for the care for babies. They aren’t traditional beds but units built for infants.

The state DOH website said 31.1% of all ICU beds in the Sioux Empire region were occupied by COVID-19 patients. The same percentage, 31.1%, were occupied by non COVID-19 patients in the region. Fifty nine COVID-19 patients occupied ICU beds in Minnehaha County. This is the only county in which ICU beds were occupied, according to the DOH website.

If 31.1% is 59 beds, then COVID-19 patients take up 59 ICU beds and non-COVID patients take up 59 ICU beds for a total of 118 occupied ICU beds in the Sioux Empire region.

That’s a total of 62.2% of the total ICU beds. At that rate, 100% of the available ICU beds would be 190.

As of Oct. 6, the DOH said the state had 293 staffed ICU beds. Two organizations have South Dakota with 113 or 128 NICU beds.

But if NICU beds are included in the total, there are fewer ICU beds available for adults.

The American Academy of Pediatrics lists 27 NICU beds for Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls, 58 at Sanford Children’s BOEH and 28 in Rapid City for a total of 113. The health care facility is listed at Rapid City Regional Health became Monument Health in January of this year.

Neonatology Solutions website lists three level III NICU units in South Dakota with a total of 128 beds. Fifty-eight of those are Sanford beds, 42 at Avera McKennan and 28 in Rapid City (Monument Health).

Avera McKennan’s website lists a 42-bed, neonatal intensive care unit at Avera Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Monument Health in Rapid City’s website lists 28 beds in a neonatal unit.

The Boekelheide Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Sioux Falls, a Sanford facility, is listed as a level IV facility but the number of beds is not listed. But AAP lists the unit as having 58 beds.

Representatives of Sanford and Avera were also contacted for NICU information but they did not respond as of publication at 4:50 p.m.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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