THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Hospitals across the country are filling up with coronavirus patients and the middle of the country is being hit especially hard. In the midwest, rural hospitals often already lack the equipment, workforce and expertise to handle a surge of COVID-19 patients. Record-high infection rates in rural communities have also meant patients are being sent to city hospitals for high-level treatment, and some urban hospitals are buckling under the added strain.
Overall, 22% don’t have enough workers and the U.S. has now seen more than 250,000 Americans die from COVID-19. A county hospital in Indiana filled all of its 144 beds after more than 14,000 became infected, forcing patients to be temporarily housed in older areas of the hospital that were previously closed and unstaffed. “This is exactly why we’re adamant about masks and flattening the curve,” Dr. Michelle Bache said. “This is the situation we wanted to avoid.”
Kansas health officials also urged communities to take stronger action, including enforcing mask mandates, as more hospital rooms are devoted to caring for coronavirus patients and hundreds of health care workers are quarantined, leading to the delay of some surgical procedures.
Trump Administration Promises Hospital Beds Without Moving to Slow Virus – Bloomberg – 11/18/2020
The Trump administration has assured states they’ll have enough hospital beds and equipment to handle the alarming nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, but it isn’t advocating for additional measures to slow the virus’s spread and continues to shut out Joe Biden’s advisers.
Hospitals Reduce Covid-19 Deaths, Lengths of Stay, Data Suggest – The Wall Street Journal – 11/19/2020
U.S. hospitals say they are facing the pandemic’s largest surge armed with treatment improvements that allow them to save lives, care for more patients and accelerate the recovery of coronavirus sufferers.
Hospitals in half the states are facing a massive staffing shortage – STAT – 11/19/2020
Hospitals in at least 25 states are critically short of nurses, doctors, and other staff as coronavirus cases surge across the United States, according to the industry’s trade association and a tally conducted by STAT. The situation has gotten so bad that in some places, severely ill patients have been transferred hundreds of miles for an available bed — from Texas to Arizona, and from central Missouri to Iowa.
Utah hospital workers rushed to NYC to help with covid in the spring. NYC workers just returned the favor. – The Washington Post – 11/19/2020
For weeks, Haurylava and her co-workers were running on fumes and precious little sleep. She wondered how she and other front-line health- care workers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia would get through. Then in mid-April, a group of Utah nurses and doctors arrived at her hospital ready for duty, offering desperately needed relief.