Overfilled ICUs put non-COVID sufferers’ health at threat: “These are people suffering 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 two waited collectively as Seth’s appendix ruptured, and there have been no beds out there. Despite Seth being in excruciating ache, medical doctors informed Seth’s household the hospital emergency room was overwhelmed with COVID sufferers.

“My wife was taken from the emergency room waiting room back into the observation rooms there, and she asked one of the nurses, ‘What’s going on? Why did we have to wait so long?’ And the nurse rolled her eyes and said something to the effect of, ‘Well, what do you think? We’re slammed with COVID,’” Osborn informed CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez.

Seth was ultimately seen and recovered, however his state of affairs just isn’t unusual. Across the nation, hospitals’ emergency rooms are overfilled with largely unvaccinated COVID-19 sufferers—placing everybody who wants healthcare in peril.

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

“Sometimes we have to limit all the other cases we have to do, especially elective cases,” stated Dr. Marcos Mestre, Chief Medical Officer at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

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

“For things like influenza, RSV, all respiratory viruses tend to peak at that time. So if we get that in addition to COVID, I’m really concerned about our capacity here, not only in space but also with staffing,” Mestre stated.

The downside and the suffering extends far past Florida. In Alabama, ICU’s are above 100% capability throughout your entire state. With restricted area out there inside, some hospitals are pressured to deal with sufferers wherever they’ll.

“We have ventilating patients in the ER because they don’t have the space upstairs. We have ventilating patients in hallways,” stated Dr. Don Williamson, Alabama Hospital Association President and CEO.

73-year-old Ray Demonia suffered a cardiac episode earlier this month. His household referred to 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 are pressured to ship sufferers throughout their state border to Washington, which is coping with its personal COVID disaster.

“We know that people with debilitating conditions have to wait. These are people suffering unnecessarily because our hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID patients,” stated Taya Briley, Executive Vice President, Washington State Hospital Association.

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