(CNN)-Imagine going to the hospital overwhelmed and allowing COVID-19 doctors and nurses to continue working.
Or have a heart attack and be taken to the hospital just to understand that you do not have enough emergency services.
These situations have become reality. This week, the number of people hospitalized for the pandemic COVID-19 in the United States exceeded any other time.
Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency medicine physician, said: “The difference between what is happening now and what happened before is that the virus is now everywhere.”
“Before, there were only a few hot spots in the country. She said: “Some medical workers can participate voluntarily and can travel between different states. “
“However, when the virus spreads so widely, we are likely to…exhaust medical staff, which means that patient care will be affected. And we will be at a tipping point in the hospital.”
Health experts say that the current fall of COVID-19 cases is the result of more indoor social activities, the reopening of schools, and people abandoning safety precautions due to pandemic fatigue.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, across the country, 61,964 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday. This is the highest number since the pandemic began.
“We have seen our hospitals at breakpoints in certain areas of the country. This means that it will not only affect coronavirus patients,” Wen said.
“This also means that elective surgery will delay work such as hip replacement, cancer surgery or heart surgery.”
The crisis is expected to worsen. According to Johns Hopkins University, 136,325 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the United States on Tuesday.
In the following weeks, the surge of new infections led to more hospitalizations and deaths.
Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said: “Unfortunately, I think the statement about the “new record” will be repeated over and over again.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we must now be infected with more viruses than we are. I hope these numbers will continue to climb. Hospitalization will continue to climb.”
When the hospital cannot accommodate more patients
In Idaho, some patients who need hysterectomy or joint replacement will have to wait.
St. Luke’s Magic Valley, Jerome and Wood River Medical’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Joshua Cohen, said: “We are already making the decision not to accept pediatric admissions and to close the pediatric floor to save beds and personnel. ,”center.
Related “critical moments”: With the continued surge of the coronavirus, Idaho has hardly returned it to the third stage
“We say no to selection procedures that require overnight stays.”
According to the COVID Tracking Project, Idaho is one of the 17 states with a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday.
“We have reached the point where we haven’t shut out the patients, but we have been asked to transfer them to a sister hospital in Boise, where there is indeed capacity,” Kern said at Twin Falls, about two hours southeast of the capital.
“Basically, when we reach the point where the hospital is full-based on our existing staffing capabilities-then we will say no to any other patient. So this will be the patient in our own emergency room, and then we have to pass An ambulance, helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft will transfer it to Boise.”
Even patients without coronavirus are suffering from a pandemic.
He said: “We have put a lot of pressure on the area of the hysterectomy… knee replacement, hip replacement-anything that can be delayed.”
“Is this the best choice? Never. If someone needs spinal surgery or hysterectomy, then whether it is really elective is crucial. But we have such high demands on the staff, we have to make those decisions. “
Doctors who volunteered to work in New York City now do not travel
When COVID-19 paralyzed New York City earlier this year, thousands of volunteers from all over the United States began to help.
Dr. Tomas Diaz, an emergency room doctor in San Francisco, volunteered for a month in a New York hospital during the spring peak.
But now, Diaz is still in California.
Diaz said: “I am worried about leaving my current home when I may need to leave here.”
He said the situation in San Francisco is much better than in many cities, which may be due to early mask requirements and shelter-in-place orders.
But the situation may change at any time.
Diaz said: “For all of us, this is an unprecedented era.”
“From a people’s point of view, we are seeing its impact… Visitors cannot be admitted to the hospital, isolated (from) relatives, and may even die.”
And he also saw young people hospitalized due to COVID-19.
He said: “I have some young patients, such as their 30s and 40s, who are otherwise healthy. They are completely knocked down by COVID and need to stay in the hospital with low oxygen saturation.”
When a heart disease patient cannot be taken care of quickly
Governor Gary Herbert said that in Utah, hospitals are “really on the verge of not being able to accommodate more people…especially in our intensive care unit.”
Related New York City nurses respond to Utah’s call to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic
“We just don’t have rooms where doctors and nurses can provide medical services.”
Laurie Terry, the mother of Utah, knew this difficult method. And she doesn’t even have coronavirus.
Terry recently had a heart attack and needed special equipment in the intensive care unit of the hospital. But the doctor told her family that the hospital did not have enough resources due to the pandemic.
Finally, Terry came to the hospital with a hospital and the professional care she needed. But her sister said her condition had worsened.
Laurie Terry | CNN
Related Utah Heart Attack Victims Compete for Medical Care in COVID-19 Case Surge
Related hospital associations say that Utah hospitals may start distributing health care in overwhelmed facilities
6 hours from the nearest ICU bed
Large cities have been the first to bear the brunt of previous outbreaks, and COVID-19 cases are now exploding in rural areas of the country.
Nancy Foster, vice chairman of the Quality and Patient Safety Policy of the American Hospital Association, said: “The surge in rural areas is particularly worrying because many rural hospitals have insufficient capacity to expand patient care capacity and rely on Has fewer resources.”
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said that hospital capacity in rural and urban areas of the state is now a major issue.
She recalled a recent example, the area was in rural Kenny County, where the nearest ICU bed was in Kansas City-a six-hour drive.
The governor said: “We must (work) to flatten the curve.” “We know how to reduce the spread of the virus. We know that masks are effective.”
Some COVID-19 doctors and nurses can continue to work
In North Dakota, where there is a severe shortage of personnel, asymptomatic health care workers infected with the coronavirus can work in medical facilities of COVID-19 units.
“Our hospitals are now under tremendous pressure,” Governor Doug Burgum said when announcing the adjustment on Monday.
Some hospitals have hired traveling nurses and suspended elective surgeries. Burgum’s office said, but with a large number of patients, staffing is still a challenge.
Healthcare workers infected with the coronavirus can continue to work in the COVID-19 department, “as long as they remain asymptomatic and take other preventive measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Dakota Department of Health to protect the worker and Community”, the governor’s office said.
These preventive measures include taking the body temperature of medical staff daily and wearing masks.
Request help from retired health care workers
“Many nurses are about to retire to solve this problem,” said Gerard Brogan, director of nursing practice at National Nurses United, the largest registered nurse union in the United States.
Like many states, Wisconsin is responding to the violent attack of COVID-19 patients and the serious strain on the medical system.
“The number of absentees due to illness or quarantine is also a factor in our staffing requirements,” said Laura Hieb, chief nursing officer of the Greenbeling Medical System.
So Beilin has asked the retired medical staff to return.
“They provide help in some of our urgently needed areas, such as test sites, follow-up calls, and data entry. Some people have worked in the clinical field, but due to age and other factors, most people are not working on the front lines.” She said.
Heber said the health care system has redeployed or re-employed more than 200 people. They include retirees and “many of the faculty and staff of Belling College and students in low-level jobs.”
Heber said that there is a key difference between the COVID-19 surge this fall and previous surges: “The number of hospitalized patients is greater than the last time.”
The doctor defends personal responsibility
Brogan said that for many months, Americans have heard that “we must flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm the hospital.”
However, here we are again: the hospital has reached or is close to capacity, has begun to divert patients’ attention and delay certain operations. why?
“I think it’s simple: people don’t show themselves,” Brogan said.
“A lot of people think this is an’epidemic’. They don’t believe in science,” he said.
“There is a myth among young people that they can’t get COVID. People have no distance from society. People are not wearing masks. This is a false propaganda campaign that exacerbates this pandemic.”
Dr. Emily Spivak, who has been treating COVID-19 patients in Salt Lake City, said that many people will not take simple steps to help them-physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands. Depressed”.
“I can’t see the end. She said, “No one can stop everything. “
“It’s a bit like people just going out and not realizing they are exhausting our healthcare system.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it is important to remember that medical staff “really put their lives and safety at risk”.
Many people lost their lives. The National Nurses Federation reported in late September that more than 1,700 healthcare workers in the United States had died of COVID-19.
This is not only a tragedy for relatives and colleagues, but also a tragedy for patients who rely on their care.
Brogan said that exhausted nurses work 12 hours a shift, and sometimes take care of twice as many patients as usual.
He said that for those who think they will not be personally affected by this crisis, do not expect your luck to last.
“Don’t overwhelm the system. If you have no close relatives or loved ones in the community or people infected with COVID, unless you adhere to these basic public health measures, you will continue in the future,” Brogan said.
“This is a little sacrifice for the greater good of everyone.”
Click here to see the number of beds in the local hospital.