Overfilled ICUs put non-COVID sufferers’ well being in danger: “These are folks struggling unnecessarily”

Nathaniel Osborn spent greater than six hours in a Florida hospital’s emergency room together with his 12-year-old son Seth this previous July. The 2 waited collectively as Seth’s appendix ruptured, and there have been no beds accessible. Regardless of Seth being in excruciating ache, medical doctors informed Seth’s household the hospital emergency room was overwhelmed with COVID sufferers.

“My spouse was taken from the emergency room ready room again into the statement rooms there, and she or he requested one of many nurses, ‘What is going on on? Why did we now have to attend so lengthy?’ And the nurse rolled her eyes and mentioned one thing to the impact of, ‘Nicely, what do you assume? We’re slammed with COVID,'” Osborn informed CBS Information’ Manuel Bojorquez.

Seth was finally seen and recovered, however his scenario is just not unusual. Throughout the nation, hospitals’ emergency rooms are overfilled with largely unvaccinated COVID-19 sufferers—placing everybody who wants healthcare at risk.

In Florida, at the least 50 hospitals are at 100% occupancy of their ICUs. Hospitals within the state, together with Nicklaus Kids’s Hospital in Miami, have needed to be selective in the case of which instances they take.

“Generally we now have to restrict all the opposite instances we now have to do, particularly elective instances,” mentioned Dr. Marcos Mestre, Chief Medical Officer at Nicklaus Kids’s Hospital.

Mestre mentioned the hospital hasn’t turned sufferers away but, however he’s involved concerning the coming months.

“For issues like influenza, RSV, all respiratory viruses are likely to peak at the moment. So if we get that along with COVID, I am actually involved about our capability right here, not solely in house but in addition with staffing,” Mestre mentioned.

The issue and the struggling extends far past Florida. In Alabama, ICU’s are above 100% capability throughout all the state. With restricted house accessible inside, some hospitals are compelled to deal with sufferers wherever they’ll.

“We’ve ventilating sufferers within the ER as a result of they do not have the house upstairs. We’ve ventilating sufferers in hallways,” mentioned Dr. Don Williamson, Alabama Hospital Affiliation President and CEO.

73-year-old Ray Demonia suffered a cardiac episode earlier this month. His household known as 43 hospitals in three states for assist. He was transferred to a hospital in Mississippi—200 miles from his house and died there on September 1.

In Idaho, hospital ICUs are so near capability that they’re compelled to ship sufferers throughout their state border to Washington, which is coping with its personal COVID disaster.

“We all know that individuals with debilitating circumstances have to attend. These are folks struggling unnecessarily as a result of our hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID sufferers,” mentioned Taya Briley, Government Vice President, Washington State Hospital Affiliation.

Whereas the variety of COVID sufferers in Florida hospitals has began to come back down from record-breaking highs, Mestre is worried that hospitals may very well be overwhelmed quickly from a mix of a COVID and flu surge within the fall if folks chorus from each vaccines.

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