Northwest Arkansas Hospital numbers

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.4.8″ hover_enabled=”0″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.4.8″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.4.8″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.4.8″]

I was able to obtain some Covid-related data from the four largest hospitals in Northwest Arkansas and have aggregated their totals here. This data did not come from the state, but it is from sources I trust.

First, let’s look at ventilator usage and availability. As of June 15, 41% of the region’s ventilators were in use. That was down 3% from the same time the prior week. At least one hospital was using 100% of its ventilators. These numbers included both Covid and non-Covid patients on ventilators. The number may have changed somewhat as hospitals can rent or otherwise obtain ventilators or double-up patients on ventilators.

Overall, the number of Covid-admitted patients increased by 16% over the past week. The population of Covid patients went down in some hospitals, but the largest increase was at Washington Regional Medical Center. One hospital’s Covid unit was full.

Looking region-wide, the number of Covid-positive patients being treated in the ICU went down 12 percent over the past week. The number of Covid deaths in Northwest Arkansas hospitals rose 58% over the past week.

So, what does this mean?

Well, let’s look at our growth in active cases. Active cases are the people who are currently sick (new cases minus recoveries and deaths).

Key measures:

  • Active cases in Benton and Washington counties grew 44% over the past week.
  • 4.1% of active cases were hospitalized.
  • 2.1% of active cases were on a ventilator on June 15.

If we experience the same rate of growth in active cases over the next week, and current hospitalization and vent rates remain the same, on June 22 Benton and Washington counties will have:

  • 2,469 active cases
  • 101 Covid-19 patients hospitalized
  • 62 Covid-19 patients in the ICU
  • 52 patients on a ventilator (60% of regional capacity)

You can see where, exponentially, this presents some concerns. Particularly as we look at ventilator use, we can expect the needs of non-Covid patients to remain static. Those aren’t going away. But there will be increasing pressure on supply from an increasing number of Covid patients.

I’ll come back to these numbers next week to adjust and track these projections.


Rob Wells

Rob Wells, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of Arkansas School of Journalism and Strategic Media.


The University of Arkansas School of Journalism and Strategic Media operates this site as an independent source of news and as a community service for Arkansas residents. Students produce the content here under the supervision of Rob Wells, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Journalism. The data presented here is collected at roughly the same time each day from the Arkansas Department of Health website.

Questions? Email