COVID Crush: Hospitals and Healthcare Workers Overwhelmed

NationalTitles18

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May 25, 2003
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Looks like we need a thread to discuss the COVID Crush as this wave crashes over the nation, due in large part to stupidity among the Trump Cult. Unfortunately, they are not the only people suffering from their lack of personal responsibility and refusal to be accountable for how their actions impact others.

Hospitals and healthcare workers are overwhelmed in a growing number of places and others are warning that they are soon to suffer a similar fate.

Patient care is suffering and soon will suffer more as there will not be equipment or staff to treat their COVID or their heart attack or stroke. The direct and indirect death toll is likely to get much worse, and very soon.


The vital signs of the 30-year-old COVID-19 victim were crashing, and Kearny County Hospital in rural Lakin, Kansas, just wasn’t equipped to handle the case. Miller, Kearny’s chief medical officer - who doubles as the county health officer - called around to larger hospitals in search of an ICU bed. With coronavirus cases soaring throughout Kansas, he said, he couldn’t find a single one.

By the time a bed opened elsewhere the following day, the young man was near death. For a full 45 minutes, Miller and his staff performed chest compressions in a desperate attempt to save him.

Somehow, Miller said, the patient regained a pulse, and was dispatched in an ambulance to the larger facility about 25 miles away. Miller then prayed with the family, whom he knew “very well” from Lakin, a town of just a few thousand people.

“It’s truly a miracle he has survived,” Miller said.

After pounding big U.S. cities in the spring, COVID-19 now has engulfed rural and small-town America, seeming to seep into the country’s every nook and cranny. According to Reuters’ interviews with more than a dozen medical care providers and public health officials in the nation’s heartland, many hospitals are severely lacking in beds, equipment and - most critically - clinical staff, including specialists and nurses.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are spiking nationally. But the Midwest - encompassing a dozen states between Ohio and the Dakotas - has been especially brutalized. Reported case rates are more than double that of any other region in the United States, according to the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run data provider. From mid-June to mid-November, reported cases in the Midwest rose more than twentyfold.

For the week ending November 19, North Dakota reported an average of 1,769 daily new cases per 1 million residents, according to the tracking project. South Dakota recorded nearly 1,500 per million residents, Wisconsin and Nebraska around 1,200, and Kansas nearly 1,000. Even in New York’s worst week in April - with business closed and panic gripping the public - the state never averaged more than 500 new cases per million people. California never topped 253.


Hospital officials in the Midwest told Reuters they’re at capacity or nearly so. Most have tried to increase availability by repurposing wings or cramming multiple patients in a single room, and by asking staffers to work longer hours and more frequent shifts.

Facilities like Kearny, known as “critical access” hospitals, weren’t made for this. Often sparsely funded, they mainly provide basic or emergency care to residents who live long distances away from bigger medical centers. Now, “we have to plan on being able to care for whomever comes in,” said Miller, whose specialty is family medicine.

As cases spike in many conservative states and counties, medical workers say they often face a challenge just in convincing patients and local leaders that the disease should be taken seriously and isn’t a Democrat-perpetuated hoax.

Such viewpoints flow from the top. President Donald Trump
often has held shoulder-to-shoulder rallies in the Midwest and elsewhere and treated masks as a matter of personal choice. Although Trump was not re-elected, about two months remain in his tenure, with little sign of change in his coronavirus strategy, even as the crisis grows.

The White House press office did not respond to a request for comment.

Some medical officials and hospital staffers find it hard to reconcile laissez-faire policies with the sickness and suffering they see.

“There’s a disconnect in the community, where we’re seeing people at bars and restaurants, or planning Thanksgiving dinners,” said Dr. Kelly Cawcutt, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. As health workers, she said, “we feel kind of dejected.”
 
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NationalTitles18

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Covid hospitalizations are at a record high. I guess the good news is that with a few months of medical experience, the fatality rate is lower than the spring.
True, but as cases and hospitalization rise the ability to care for patients is decreasing which WILL lead to more people dying because the ability to give adequate care is just not there. IOW we are losing the gains we had, due mainly to stupidity and selfishness.
 

92tide

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i have a sinking feeling that we are going to see a lot of news in the next month about doctors having to "ration" care for those who are dying

i am so angry right now because this was completely avoidable. and it still is, and absolutely nothing is being done about it so it is going to continue to get worse. every single gop member of congress and the administration should be frog marched to the gallows for their continued malfeasance in the response to this tragedy.

all in the service of a malignantly narcissistic megalomaniac's ego
 
My older brother is a resp therapist at the VA in a large Western city.

They were virtually unscathed during last Spring/Summer's wave of COVID cases. The medical center across the street from the VA was overwhelmed, but they hardly saw any cases.

Given that the smaller VAs across the country don't have as many vents, his VA has started taking on cases from smaller VAs. Now, their ICU is full. All COVIDs.
 

TexasBama

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i have a sinking feeling that we are going to see a lot of news in the next month about doctors having to "ration" care for those who are dying

i am so angry right now because this was completely avoidable. and it still is, and absolutely nothing is being done about it so it is going to continue to get worse. every single gop member of congress and the administration should be frog marched to the gallows for their continued malfeasance in the response to this tragedy.

all in the service of a malignantly narcissistic megalomaniac's ego
We’ll be in the absolute suck a week from Friday
 

selmaborntidefan

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Covid hospitalizations are at a record high. I guess the good news is that with a few months of medical experience, the fatality rate is lower than the spring.
Yes, but as NT17 noted....we're going to have collateral damage death-wise. People who could not go for cancer check-ups in the spring are going to die in coming years. YES - some of them would have anyway. Also, a person who has a heart attack now is at greater risk (than before) of dying in the ER due to things like paramedic fatigue, overwhelmed workers, and folks who wait too long to go.

As years ago by, there are going to be suicides of health care workers who have lived through this plus those who lost everything economically and have no hope to ever recover even minimally. What about some 59-year old who raised four tax paying contributors to society and gets a pink slip from work because pandemic. I have a friend who worked for Haliburton for 43 years (set aside however you may feel about his employer). After 3 months, the old dudes (I believe he's 62) were all let go, so now they're selling their house. And by contrast with a lot of folks, he's at least got some socked away. But he's not going to be able to find anything in the ballpark of what he was making - not at 62 years old.

I think we all have these stories - and it didn't have to happen the way it did. YES, people still would have died from it, that part is true. But this was an Inspector Clouseau operation top to bottom.
 

NationalTitles18

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May 25, 2003
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i have a sinking feeling that we are going to see a lot of news in the next month about doctors having to "ration" care for those who are dying

i am so angry right now because this was completely avoidable. and it still is, and absolutely nothing is being done about it so it is going to continue to get worse. every single gop member of congress and the administration should be frog marched to the gallows for their continued malfeasance in the response to this tragedy.

all in the service of a malignantly narcissistic megalomaniac's ego
You aren't alone in feeling that way.

The very people causing this are going to be the ones complaining about lack of care.
 
I got let go from my job in late June, ostensibly due to a corporate merger, but when I looked at the list of those of us layoffs(by law, the company has to provide a list + the ages of those affected), those of us in our late 50s/early 60s were the lion's share of the layoffs. Didn't matter if they were a single point of failure(as I was), or had decades of experience.

Just as COVID was hitting and everyone was leaving the offices, and nobody was hiring. Luckily, I found a new gig within a couple of months. (Actually, I got the notice in mid-March, so I was hitting the job hunt for a solid 4-5 months). Luckily, I work in a field where I can get a job a little easier than other people but it was still scary as heck to go thru that with COVID hanging over all of our lives. My wife lost her job about the same time so we were both out of work.
 

selmaborntidefan

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I got let go from my job in late June, ostensibly due to a corporate merger, but when I looked at the list of those of us layoffs(by law, the company has to provide a list + the ages of those affected), those of us in our late 50s/early 60s were the lion's share of the layoffs. Didn't matter if they were a single point of failure(as I was), or had decades of experience.

Just as COVID was hitting and everyone was leaving the offices, and nobody was hiring. Luckily, I found a new gig within a couple of months. (Actually, I got the notice in mid-March, so I was hitting the job hunt for a solid 4-5 months). Luckily, I work in a field where I can get a job a little easier than other people but it was still scary as heck to go thru that with COVID hanging over all of our lives. My wife lost her job about the same time so we were both out of work.

I'm sorry, man, I really am.

I'll give you one even worse.

There's a bunch of folks I went to high school with over 30 years ago, and they moved here to the DFW area. One of them (a girl who graduated a year behind me) saw her husband diagnosed with ALS just prior to the pandemic. Then - her job was destroyed in all the layoffs. So he can't work, and she has no work, and medical bills are piling up. They had to get the home outfitted for a wheelchair, etc.

He died during the election coverage night on November 3. She has two teenage boys.

(Not in any way dismissing you or playing "top this," but it's when I look at that I feel fortunate in many ways. I TRY to not complain because - ironically - this pandemic has made my job more important than ever, but I've been exhausted. The time off was much needed (even my boss said my appearance had improved drastically).
 

CharminTide

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My hospital's data nerds are saying that they expect this current wave to peak in mid-January. Since there's no stimulus coming, the hospital administration is doing everything they possibly can to not shut down nonessential procedures like they did in the Spring (currently taking a "weekly evaluation" approach) which means that the normal hospital/surgical load is largely unchanged while the COVID unit grows everyday. Physicians, nurses, and support staff are being pulled from other specialties to help deal with the COVID volume, which leaves everyone else to cover more work. At the same time, we're averaging more than 1000 people either out sick or quarantining every day. Due to high volume and staff shortages, they're even pulling pathologists for COVID care starting next week. So things are getting spread mighty thin right now, and there will be consequences for that.

And to be crystal clear, if I am ever taking care of a floor patient, then we have lost the war on COVID.
 

Chukker Veteran

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I just read the first four pages on the football board about Saban having caught it...so many posters seem to think this is an inconvenience for Saban to quarantine and what's the big deal...with absolutely no thought to the medical profession that is stretched beyond what they should have to endure.
 

Chukker Veteran

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I just read the first four pages on the football board about Saban having caught it...so many posters seem to think this is an inconvenience for Saban to quarantine and what's the big deal...with absolutely no thought to the medical profession that is stretched beyond what they should have to endure.
I see MobtownK gave me a facepalm over this post. I wish he would explain what his issue was. Are we supposed to ignore and take for granted the sacrifices our medical workers are enduring?
Edit:
Sorry if I misunderstood the intent of the face palm.
 

MobtownK

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I see MobtownK gave me a facepalm over this post. I wish he would explain what his issue was. Are we supposed to ignore and take for granted the sacrifices our medical workers are enduring?
Edit:
Sorry if I misunderstood the intent of the face palm.
It was in agreement with you - that they think Saban should be on the sidelines. That "what's the big deal"....

And he is a she - not that it matters. 😆
 

jthomas666

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I got let go from my job in late June, ostensibly due to a corporate merger, but when I looked at the list of those of us layoffs(by law, the company has to provide a list + the ages of those affected), those of us in our late 50s/early 60s were the lion's share of the layoffs. Didn't matter if they were a single point of failure(as I was), or had decades of experience.

Just as COVID was hitting and everyone was leaving the offices, and nobody was hiring. Luckily, I found a new gig within a couple of months. (Actually, I got the notice in mid-March, so I was hitting the job hunt for a solid 4-5 months). Luckily, I work in a field where I can get a job a little easier than other people but it was still scary as heck to go thru that with COVID hanging over all of our lives. My wife lost her job about the same time so we were both out of work.
Man, that's rough. I went through my own unemployment saga a few years ago. Am INCREDIBLY grateful that I eventually got a job with a government contractor.
 
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