Hospitals are starting to limp due to the latest surge in COVID-19

Hospitals have struggled to weather the influx of omicrons with a workforce that was already depleted after many employees left the profession. The rest of the medical workers fell ill en masse. In some hospitals, clerks helped make beds.

Currently, many hospitals are still in crisis mode as they work to move patients whose hip replacement surgeries and even cancer and brain surgeries were delayed during the microcrisis to free up beds and nurses for care. for patients with COVID-19.

Even in North Dakota, which consistently ranks first in the number of COVID-19 cases relative to the population, hospitals are seeing a sharp decline in patients with the virus. However, Sanford Health executives in the Dakota said their hospitals are still overcrowded.

“We’ve been running hard for a couple of years now, but I’m not sure I feel relieved,” said Dr. Doug Griffin, vice president and medical officer at Sanford in Fargo, North Dakota. “Most of our caregivers care for other patients. We still have very, very sick people coming in for all sorts of reasons.”

At 13 hospitals at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the number of COVID-19 patients has fallen to 280, compared to the pandemic’s all-time high of about 1,200. Operations began to be postponed at the end of December, and the situation is only now returning to normal, said Dr. Raed Dweik, head of the Respiratory System Institute.

There is hope, he said, that this is the last big surge and that hospitals can start to catch up.

“Our hopes were not justified before that. “Oh, this is the end of the pandemic and this virus,” he said. “Every time we say something like that, they laugh at us and come back with a new version.”

Dr. Craig Spencer, New York City ER physician, tweeted a week ago: “Worked 12 hours in the ER on a busy Monday and didn’t have a single COVID patient. No one. It’s not over yet. it’s a hell of a lot better than even a few weeks ago.”

On Tuesday, Spencer said he had another COVID-free shift during Friday and Saturday night hours.

“Of course, I get a random sample, but compared to what it was a month ago, this is a drastic change, which is great,” he said.

Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association and a COVID-19 intensive care unit nurse, said patient numbers remain high because of “all the other people who didn’t go to appointments or follow-ups that come in.” with all other conditions.

If there’s any relief, Turner says, it’s being able to enter a patient’s room without having to wear full protective gear.

“It’s like heaven” to walk in and just put on a pair of gloves, she said.

At Beaumont Health, with eight hospitals in Michigan, the number of COVID-19 patients fell to 250 on Tuesday, down from a peak of 851 micrometers last month.

Dr. Justin Skrzynski, GP, chief of the COVID-19 unit at Beaumont Health Hospital in Royal Oak, said patient care has returned to about 90% normal and he finds reason to be optimistic, noting that the combination of vaccination and immunity from infection should provide some protection.

But he noted: “I think we need to be very aware of how degraded healthcare is.”

He said nurses who had been abused by patients had left the profession in large numbers. The costs have gone up.

“We’re doing so much right now to financially support the healthcare system,” he said, noting the billions of dollars the federal stimulus package has given to hospitals to fight the pandemic. “Unfortunately, once the dust settles, I think all these things will come.”

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