By John ANTCZAK and AMY Tackin, Associated Press
Los Angeles (AP) – California Hospitals are battling to find patients amid fears that the explosion of coronovirus infection rates will leave resources and health care workers exhausted.
As of Saturday, about 17,400 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections – the previous peak had doubled in July – and a state model that uses current data to forecast future trends Does, indicating that the number may reach an immature 75,000 mid. -January.
More than 3,600 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units.
During an event organized by the California State University System, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. “Some areas of California” have sprung up, said Anthony Fauci.
Corona Regional Medical Center, southeast of Los Angeles, has replaced an old emergency room to help double the normal number of ICU patients. It is using space in two disaster tents to try out ER patients because the emergency room is full of patients who need to be hospitalized.
Ambulances can sit for up to two hours unless they are bringing patients with severe, life-or-death emergencies.
“There is no place in the inn, so to speak,” said the hospital’s chief executive, Mark Ufer. “Actually every nook and cranes of the hospital are being used.”
This is a view from outside California. According to state data, on Friday, all of Southern California and the 12-county San Joaquin Valley in the north had exhausted their regular intensive care unit capacity and some hospitals have started using “increased” space.
A new 50-bed alternative care site opened on Friday near the Community Regional Medical Center, in hard-hit Fresno County in central California. The county’s Director of Emergency Medical Services Dan Lynch said the beds for COVID-19-negative patients would free up space in area hospitals, where only 13 of the 150 ICU beds were available on Friday.
Lynch said he hopes to use the Fresno Convention Center, which can accommodate 250 patients, given the current demand.
Fresno and three neighboring counties have also taken the unprecedented step of sending paramedics on emergency calls to evaluate people. Lynch said they would not be taken to the emergency room if they could go to an urgent care facility or wait a few days to talk to their doctors.
Some hospitals have canceled non-essential elective surgeries, such as hip replacements, which may require beds that may soon be necessary for COVID-19 patients. Others are increasing staff hours or increased patients to free up space.
He said, “I am not going to take it. We are being crushed, ”Chief Medical Officer of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Dr. Said Brad Spellberg, which has more than 600 beds and is one of the largest hospitals in the county.
Spellberg said that there have been no available intensive care beds available every day in his hospital for the past week and a scuffle has begun to find room in locations that typically do not handle critical patients such as recovery areas after surgery Huh.
“And it’s not just COVID patients,” he said. “These are victims of car accidents and heart attacks and violence. They need a place to receive critical care.”
The ever-increasing demand can also sabotage human resources.
“We still have physical beds available, but we need staff to care for patients. It doesn’t do you any good to sit in bed with someone who takes care of you, ”said Dr. Rani, Chief Medical Officer of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. Amy Harold told the San Francisco Chronicle. “People are doing overtime repeatedly and they are tired and it’s just getting worse.”
John Chapman, president and chief executive officer of Upland’s San Antonio Regional Hospital, said that telemetry nurses monitoring vital signs of patients should not supervise more than four people, but they may wind up five or six as cases crush. can give.
“It definitely increases the risk of something going wrong,” he said.
Many emergency rooms are already using outdoor tents to create more space, Drs. Said Mark Futernik, an emergency room physician in Los Angeles who is on the board of the California chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He said that a hospital has expanded its outdoor overflow tent to a maximum gym.
Yet cases of coronovirus have not reached their peak in this third and most destructive wave, and this means that there are more drastic measures on the horizon.
Many hospitals are preparing for the possibility of ration care. A document recently circulated among doctors at four hospitals operated by Los Angeles County in which he asked for a change of strategy: instead of trying to do everything to save one life, his goal during the crisis was more and more Patients have to be saved.
“, Some compromise of the standard of care is unavoidable; it is not that an entity chooses to limit the system, or local resources, is that resources are not clearly available for routine care,” Documents obtained by Loss. The Angeles Times reads.
The county’s Director of Health Services, Drs. Christina Cheek, said the guidelines were not as of Friday night, but they were necessary to develop given that the boom has come and that “the worst is yet to come.”
As of Saturday, the nation’s most populous state had more than 43,000 new cases reported and 272 deaths, both being the highest single-day totals during the epidemic. In the past week, there have been more than a quarter million cases and 1,500 deaths in California.
California has started receiving new COVID-19 vaccines. But the doses available are very small and very late have any immediate effect on increasing infection rates.
The latest explosion cases have been tied up for people who ignore social-disruptive rules during the Thanksgiving holiday. Health care officials and workers expressed dismay that many are not following state-mandated safety regulations designed to slow that rate.
“Whatever is coming, I don’t think either of us is going to be able to manage it,” Uffer said. “You have a dam that is about to break, and you have to stop pouring water into the dam.”
If people do not hold off on upcoming holiday trips and come together, the state “may be overshadowed by the increase,” Fauci said.
“I’m afraid it will be worse than what we saw New York, “Said Fuchternik.” When New York’s hospitals were overwhelmed, health care providers arrived from around the country. “
“Nothing is happening, and there’s no way for it because everyone is busy,” Futernick said. “There is no cavalry.”
On Saturday night, Apple Inc. announced that it was temporarily closing all 53 of its stores in California due to an outbreak of coronovirus. The move comes after the new state limited reserves to 20 percent.
Taxin from Orange County reported. Associated Press writers Adam Beam and Don Thompson from Sacramento, and Jenny Har contributed from San Francisco.
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