When the Florida ICU is full, non-COVID patients will “suffer unnecessarily.”

Miami (CBS)

Nathaniel Osborn spent more than six hours with his 12-year-old son Seth in the emergency room of a Florida hospital this July. There was no bed available as we were waiting for the Seth appendix to burst. Despite Seth’s intolerable pain, doctors told Seth’s family that the hospital’s emergency room was overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

“My wife was taken back from the waiting room in the emergency room to the observation room there and asked one of the nurses,” What’s wrong? ” Why did you have to wait so long? Then the nurse turned his eyes and said, “Well, what do you think? We are being blamed for COVID,” Osborne told CBS News Manuel Boyorquez.

Seth was eventually seen and recovered, but his situation is not uncommon. Emergency rooms in hospitals across the country are almost full of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, putting everyone in need of medical care at risk.

In Florida, at least 50 hospitals are 100% occupied by the ICU. Hospitals in the state, including the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, had to be selective when it came to which cases to take.

Dr. Marcos Mestre, Chief Medical Officer at Nicklaus Childrens Hospital, said:

Mestre said the hospital hasn’t discharged the patient yet, but is worried about it in the coming months.

“In the case of flu, something like RSV, all respiratory viruses tend to peak at that point, so if you get it in addition to COVID, I’m about our ability here in space. Not only are we really worried about staffing, “Mestre said.

Problems and suffering extend far beyond Florida. In Alabama, ICU has a capacity of over 100% across the state. Due to the limited space available internally, some hospitals are forced to treat patients as much as possible.

“There are ventilated patients in the ER because there is no space on the second floor. We ventilate patients in the corridors,” said Dr. Don Williamson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama Hospital Association.

73-year-old Ray Demonia suffered a heart episode earlier this month. His family sought help from 43 hospitals in three states. He was transferred to a Mississippi hospital 200 miles from his home and died there on September 1.

In Idaho, hospital ICUs are so close to capacity that they are forced to send patients across state borders to Washington. Washington is dealing with its own COVID crisis.

“We know that debilitated people have to wait. These are people who are suffering unnecessarily because our hospital is overwhelmed by COVID patients,” said the Washington State Hospital Association. Said Taya Briley, Executive Vice President of.

While the number of COVID-19 patients in Florida hospitals has begun to decline from record highs, Mestre quickly overwhelmed the hospital with a combination of COVID-19 and the flu surge in the fall when people refrained from both. Vaccines that are concerned that they may be.

When the Florida ICU is full, non-COVID patients will “suffer unnecessarily.”

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