December 23rd – Leaders of some of California’s largest hospital systems held a press conference on Tuesday (22nd) to convey the emergency message to the people of the state during Christmas: stay at home and avoid gatherings.
According to the Washington Post on the 22nd, the leadership of the hospital system pointed out that the current record surge in infections and deaths in the state is the result of the increase in the number of people traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Stephen Parodi, deputy executive director of Permanente Medical Group, called for: “Don’t repeat what happened during Thanksgiving. Our hospital system can no longer cope with the increase in caseloads as it did after Thanksgiving.”
The report said that due to the decline in the capacity of intensive care units in recent weeks, the California hospital system has had to take measures to keep patients in corridors and converted conference rooms.
Some hospitals are moving other patients out of the ICU to meet the needs of treating patients with COVID-19. In Southern California and the state’s Central Valley, the capacity of the hospital ICU was zero on the 22nd.
But medical capacity is not the most worrying thing for the leadership. The most worrying thing is the situation of medical staff. The state’s doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists are exhausted, according to the report.
Greg Adams, the chief executive of the system, said that nurses who usually take care of one patient are now tired of caring for three patients at the same time in some places of Caesar Permanent Hospital, and the situation seems to be getting worse.
Some hospitals have begun to postpone other operations.
The state has a system of “alternative care sites” that can serve as field hospitals and will remove patients with other illnesses from hospitals that are overwhelmed to treat COVID-19.
But the surge in cases has affected not only large urban hospitals in Los Angeles, but also rural medical facilities.
Vanessa Walker, a medical director, said that in the past, patients could be transferred to hospitals in larger specialized institutions, and now they have to deal with the treatment of these patients themselves.” The surge in cases is affecting us all,” Walker said, “and the impact is everywhere.” Overseas Network Hou Xingchuan)