A few months ago, Idaho’s Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center only reported five patients with COVID-19 infection. On Thursday, they reported more than 45 cases.
Even on their deathbeds, patients deny the existence of COVID
The medical director of the intensive care unit, Dr. Meghan McInerney, said that all of the admitted patients are unvaccinated. People end up in hospitals, on their deathbeds because they absorb all this misinformation and are convinced that they shouldn’t be vaccinated, she told ABC News.
Given the rise in infections, beds in hospitals do not stay empty for long. McInerney said that their center is overwhelmed. There are so many COVID-19 infected patients who are unvaccinated. She said that these patients add to very busy intensive care units and the kind of busy they experience is crazy and a lot to carry.
As people with COVID-19 overwhelm the hospitals of Idaho, they are experiencing a surge like never before. All of the state’s emergency departments are full.
Around six hundred people in the state are hospitalized with COVID-19, which is the highest till now and less than 13% of ICU beds of the state are empty.
Idaho’s state health officials, to address the shooting up of cases, announced that they have turned on “crisis standards of care” for Idaho’s northern region hospitals. This will allow hospitals to control the health care they provide.
McInerney explained that the highly contagious delta variant has made jobs of front-line workers quite difficult. With one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, Idaho has reported only 40% of the population is fully vaccinated. Around 53% of the total US population is fully vaccinated.
McInerney said that it is truly difficult to be a front-line physician, exercising duties every day for a state with these low vaccination rates.
Jessica Parrott, Saint Alphonsus’ ICU nurse, said that all the severe COVID-19 patients in the hospital are unvaccinated. She added that those who are not severely ill are vaccinated.
Saint Alphonsus Boise’s hospitalist, Dr. Carolyn McFarlane, said that many young people are falling prey to the virus, many of whom in the ICU are just in their 20s. She said that this wave is the most aggressive than the surges we saw during 2020.
McFarlane said that they have seen two deaths in the last 24 hours. One was 30 years old, while another was in his 50s. She said that the worst part is that this was preventable.
McInerney said that their staff is overburdened and overwhelmed and they are facing a crisis in staffing. As patients from Idaho and outside are flooding hospitals, nurses are asked to work overtime and pick extra shifts.
A COVID-19 charge nurse, Alicia Luciani, said that they do not have enough staff to help rising patients and it is becoming very frustrating to everyone at every level. She said that this was affecting everyone and patients too, and they are trying everything they can to help these patients. She added that it is very frustrating, and everyone is tired.
Saint Alphonsus’ medical staffers said that they feel physically and emotionally exhausted and the whole shifts feel like a battleground to them. They said they get disheartened by seeing a situation like this and hearing people’s unwillingness to get the vaccines.
According to Monica Brower, a nurse educator, many patients regret not getting vaccinated and many even feel sorry, but there are many patients who even on ventilators decline vaccination and believe they did the right thing.
McFarlane, tearing up recounting her experiences with combative patients, said that she has personally seen patients say that they haven’t caught COVID-19 as there is nothing like COVID-19.