Los Angeles County's acute-care hospitals are experiencing a paucity of available beds as a result of summertime staff shortages and a seasonally higher patient load, officials said Wednesday, adding that they are trying to recruit enough nurses to ease the problem.
A spokeswoman for the county Department of Health Service denied a report Wednesday that patients going directly to county hospitals are being put into temporary beds in the halls.
Paul Drozd, executive director of County-USC Medical Center, agreed with that spokeswoman, saying he knows of no patients being quartered in the hallways. That happens occasionally, he said, particularly at Women's Hospital, when there are an unusually high number of baby deliveries. But "when we do that, we automatically notify the state Department of Health," he said.
Staffing Shortage Cited
Drozd said the county's hospitals normally accept 400 to 500 referrals a week from private or community hospitals but that in the last week they have been unable to accommodate about 100 referrals because of the staffing shortage.