At St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center, the intensive care rooms are full. They are full of tubes, mechanical breathing machines, and wires.
All the patients inside are very similar. Most of them are middle-aged or younger, unvaccinated, paralyzed, and sedated. In addition, they also rely on life support and struggle silently against Covid.
Hospitals In Idaho Almost Caved Into The Covid Surge
Sights of who they used to be before getting infected by the virus become clear when watched for a moment or two. The tanned forearms of a 30-year-old man are covered by tattoos. The mildly swollen belly of a pregnant mom is seen for a brief moment just as the nurse adjusts her position.
She is hooked to a machine, being 5 months pregnant, but still youthful. Another pregnant woman down the hall is only 24 but still hooked to a ventilator. In order to get more air into her lungs, she is lying on top of her fetus which is developing, in a prone position. A record number of emergency room visits, ICU patients, and hospitalizations were reached by Idaho due to Covid.
Expert say that the conservative state will see close to 30,000 new infections per week as they near the mid of September.
The state has one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates. In addition to this, it also has a critical shortage of hospital beds and staff. Health care providers in Idaho are concerned and are desperately following standards of care seen during crises. This involves providing patients who are most likely to survive with scarce resources.
Dr. Jim Souza said that so much of the loss happening in these walls is preventable. He stressed that it is not only the loss of life that is preventable but also the loss of hope. Jim is the chief medical officer.
Kristen Connelly and a few of her fellow nurses, inside the ICUs, gather on a frequent basis to turn every patient over, whilst being careful to not disconnect the tubes that have been tangled and the wires that are keeping the patients alive.
Turning a patient is a dangerous endeavor as there are half a dozen hanging bags of medicines, breathing tubes, and feeding tubes, all of which are intended to prevent organ damage. Nevertheless, it is a necessary endeavor that happens 2 times, every day.
Connelly was not fazed when hospitals in Idaho were overwhelmed with patients who had Covid during the previous winter. She believed that she could make a difference. Connelly now focuses on multiple patients at a time instead of just one. Due to the burnout of the pandemic, many of her colleagues quit their jobs.
The 26 year ICU nurse said that she felt overwhelmed and does not feel that she has much left. Connelly is trying to maintain her last reservoirs of energy as her own life is in triage mode. She has cut out all activities at home which includes eating but excludes walking her dog. Her critical job skill of being incredibly compassionate has been superseded by anger that she is unable to shake off.
She said that they had a team of a mother and her daughter at the hospital in the past week. The mother died and the daughter was still alive. She added that she felt relieved of the anger briefly as she was just overcome by sadness.
She admitted that it was devastating and that we did not have to be in this position right now.
The Covid patients in the ICUs are simply those who failed to get vaccinated. These were generally healthy people who could have avoided the situation.