Hospitals become strained as they approach or shift capacity in states where cases of the new coronavirus are on the rise.
Doctors and nurses in the south and west, including Arizona, Mississippi, and Texas, say they are short on space and equipment because new patients are being admitted.
Rooms are double the normal number of beds, elective surgeries have been suspended, and hospital administrators are asking health workers from other states to come and help.
And in the most serious cases, healthcare providers should determine which patients will or will not be placed on a ventilator.
Hospitals in several states where coronavirus cases are increasing, such as Arizona, Mississippi, and Texas, are pushing up on capacity. Pictured: Healthcare workers move a patient inside the United Memorial Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit in Houston, Texas, July 2
Hospitals at Texas Medical Center announced that their ICU capacity was over 100%, requiring the opening of new and converted beds. Pictured: Healthcare workers move a patient to a department other than the COVID-19 unit at United Memorial Medical Center, July 2
If hospitals in Arizona exceed capacity, patients will receive a score to determine who will receive a ventilator. Pictured: Medical transports and ambulances are parked outside the emergency room entrance at Banner Desert Medical Center, in Mesa, Arizona, June 16
More than 55,000 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed in the U.S. on Thursday, the highest one-day increase in cases.
Deaths, which were on the downward trend, increased with more than 700 fatalities on Thursday.
The Washington Post reports that this is a 25 percent increase compared to the most recent seven-day moving average.
Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, said the jump in cases is due to new infections, not an increase in testing.
“There is no doubt that the more tests you get, the more you will discover – but we believe this is a real increase in the number of cases,” he told the House Select Committee on Coronavirus on Thursday.
“We are not flattening the curve at the moment. The curve is still going up. ‘
In Arizona, one of the country’s new hotspots, hospital admissions, and ICU capacity reached record highs.
The Arizona Department of Health revealed that 3,031 people were hospitalized and ICU capacity reached 91 percent.
According to data from the department, 741 of those 1,520 patients are being treated for coronavirus.
Gov Doug Ducey, who had been reluctant to go back to the lockdown, ordered several companies, including bars, gums and movie theaters, to close for 30 days earlier this week.
Water parks and snakes were also closed, and events in the state were not allowed to have more than 50 people.
In Arizona, when hospitalizations exceed capacity, patients are given a score based on life expectancy and whether or not they have underlying conditions to determine if they are placed on a ventilator, The Post reported.
In Arizona, 3,031 people are hospitalized and ICU capacity reached 91% (photo)
Hospital admissions are booming in Mississippi, where new cases first exceeded 1,000 and 70% of ICUs are occupied
“You’re looking at what happened in Lombardy, Italy, what happened in New York – that’s about to happen here,” Will Humble, former director of the state health department, told The Post.
“People are dying because our system is overwhelmed. It is important that other states learn from us.
“This was not bad luck. It was avoidable. Don’t let this happen to you. You look back over the past few months and we are an example of what not to do. ‘
Arizona’s response to the corona virus has been filled with stumbling blocks.
Last week, Ducey said that attendees at the Donald Trump rally in Phoenix on June 23 should not wear masks. However, he recently encouraged residents to ‘mask’ themselves.
The health department also ordered Arizona State University to stop supplying COVID-19 models to the public after the number of cases increased in May.
“It was obvious to anyone with observation skills that this was coming,” Humble told The Post.
“You think back to Memorial Day, when bars and nightclubs were filled without any restrictions. It was clear that the voluntary approach to the honor system for mitigation did not work. ‘
Hospitals at Texas Medical Center announced on Wednesday that their ICU capacity was over 100 percent.
Staff began covering and opening new intensive care and regular floor beds to house COVID-19 patients, the Houston Chronicle.
“It is actually possible that we could become the next city in New York,” Roberta Schwartz, president of Houston Methodist Hospital, told the newspaper.
“I can’t believe we’re staring at that gun now.”
Additionally, in Mississippi, some intensive care units are already full or about to become full.
For example, the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s ICU has had capacity since February, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
On Thursday, the State State Department of Health tracked 1,092 cases, a record that surpassed the previous record of 611 just two days in advance.
Data from the Center for Disease Control and Preventions shows that about 70 percent of ICU beds in Mississippi are occupied – in both COVID and non-COVID patients.
While the number of ICU beds has not risen dramatically, health officials are preparing for the worst.
“There is a sequence of hospitalization and then ICU,” state health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs said at a news conference on Thursday.
“I am absolutely terrified that we are going to overwhelm healthcare and hospitals and ICU, not in the fall, I was worried about that before, but now I’m worried about next week or two weeks from now. ‘