West Allis, Wisconsin — Hospitals in Idaho are 99% full, warning that coronavirus patients may need to be transferred to hospitals in Seattle, Oregon and Portland. A medical center in Kansas City, Oregon recently refused an ambulance. They couldn’t afford to accept more patients. And in West Allis, just outside Milwaukee, an emergency field hospital built on the grounds of Fair, Wisconsin, admitted the first virus patient this week.
Currently, more than 41,000 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States, up 40% last month, and the cool weather that pushes more people indoors could further exacerbate the outbreak. According to the Covid Tracking Project, in at least 14 states, one day in the past week, more people were hospitalized with the virus than any other day in the pandemic. Seven more states are approaching their peak.
During the onslaught of New York City in April and the Sun Belt in July, the country has seen more people hospitalized at earlier times, but the surge in numbers is partly Are currently very worried about small hospital systems as they are testing their limits.
Patients are now widespread throughout the country in annoying hotspots from North Dakota to Kentucky. In rural areas, especially in the Midwest and Mountain West, more people are becoming more seriously ill and have to resort to hospitals with only a handful of beds. And experts are worried that the increase in the number of hospital care needs will only be exacerbated if the number of cases continues to grow.
“There aren’t really any signs that things are slowing down, which is a big concern for me,” said Caitlin M. Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. “Our starting point must be not to slow down unless you force it to slow down.”
Despite the increase in hospitalizations and known cases of the virus, the number of daily deaths nationwide has recently been fairly stable at around 760. But some experts fear that mortality is starting to rise again. Increased mortality usually lags behind increased cases and hospitalizations because the virus takes longer to progress.
Increasing hospitalizations were horrifying — and personal for families across the country. Thousands of patients used a ventilator for five weeks in Wisconsin, a former Wing Commander who struggled to breathe in Missouri, a grandparent who was being treated at another hospital in Utah. There was a beloved uncle whose niece said he was.
My niece Amy Stadler was sitting in a black minivan outside the Milwaukee Brewers stadium this week, waiting for the nurse to wipe her nose. She said her relatives had gathered a message for her uncle (serious illness) and shared it if his condition became even more dire. Stadler, 49, said he sent her, “I love him and it’s okay to go.”
Recently, Stadler, a teaching assistant, coughed and had a fever. “I’m careful, but many people don’t,” she said softly from behind her face mask while waiting for the test.
Signs of a hospital space crisis were painfully obvious in some states.
Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin said of the state’s outbreak, “Don’t make a mistake about this. This is an urgent crisis.”
In the past few months, field hospitals have opened in several cities, including Seattle and New York. Some closed after seeing only a few patients or not at all. But in Wisconsin, health minister nominee Andrea Palm said hospital officials sounded an “urgent call” as more and more patients arrived at their doors.
She said the 530-bed field hospital in West Alice is the state’s “ultimate insurance policy.” The hospital was built inside the Expo Center. The exposition is a brick building about the size of three soccer fields, and in most cases the fair is widely attended. The hospital is lined with hundreds of white cubicles, each with a bed, trash can, and privacy curtains.
In Utah, officials filed an urgent petition and complained Thursday.
“Our healthcare system is reaching its limits, our healthcare providers are overwhelmed and exhausted, and our public health system is emphasized,” said state epidemiologist Angela Dan. The doctor said.
“I don’t know what to do anymore,” Dr. Dan added. “I’m not really trying to scare anyone, I’m just trying to let you know what’s going on.”
Governor Gary Herbert said the state is preparing to open its own field hospital in an exhibition center south of Salt Lake City. He said one in five patients in the state-wide intensive care unit was a Covid-19 patient.
At a separate hospital in Utah (about 20 miles away), 79-year-old retired bus driver Rebecca Hannett’s grandmother feels better, but her 85-year-old grandfather doesn’t. Said Hannett. The isolation and separation of hospitalization in Covid-19 has been added to the fight against illness.
“I got a call from my grandma yesterday because she was worried about our grandpa,” said 22-year-old Hannett. “He decided that if this was the end, it was the end, and my grandmother was worried that they wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to each other.”
Dr. David Basel, vice president of South Dakota-based Avera Medical Group, said that in some rural areas of the United States, hospital staff act “almost like air traffic control” to move around patients and bed. It states that it needs to be opened. Dakota operates about three dozen hospitals in the Midwest.
“All of our community hospitals are at or near capacity every day,” says Dr. Basel.
One in four patients currently admitted to the group’s hospital is a Covid-19 patient, Dr. Basel said. If the infection rate remains high, the rate can increase. He said the hospital might have to cancel cancer screening, back surgery, and other non-urgent procedures to vacate the room as more patients arrive from rural areas of the area.
As the pandemic progressed, hospital officials said they were more concerned about labor shortages than supplies. Unlike when the virus was predominantly concentrated in New York and the northeast, when health care workers arrived to help from across the country, the virus was more widespread and nurses arrived to help. And few doctors.
“It feels more like a slogan we’ve overcome, rather than something we can get together and lose quickly,” said Nancy Foster, Vice President of the American Hospital Association. “Not many people can leave their community and help another because they are having a hard time catching up with their community.”
Nurse Carina Brown has helped treat viral patients at the Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee since the pandemic began. She felt prepared for the influx of patients, but was still shocked when they came.
“We had a plan, but when it’s time to see it, it’s a little different,” Brown said.
She is now assigned to more patients and is far more ill on average. That is, she needs to monitor and care for her patients more often. She and other nurses are also often one of the few connections between unaccepted patients and relatives. It brought her closer to her patient, but if they succumbed to the illness, it also makes it more painful.
“We are theirs while they are here,” Brown said. “Because they are all alone.”
“You have to sit bedside with them and hold their hands because you may get acquainted with people and their family may not be able to come,” she added. It was.
Julia McDonnell Nieto del Rio Report from West Alice, and Nicholas Bogel-Barrows From New York.