American hospitals in California discuss rational care as the virus grows News about the coronavirus pandemic

On the west coast of the United States, California’s overcrowded hospitals are installing makeshift extra beds for coronavirus patients, and a handful of severely affected facilities in Los Angeles County are developing contingency plans if they need to limit the number of people. who receive life – saving care.

The number of people hospitalized in California with confirmed COVID-19 infections is more than double the previous peak in the state, reached in July, and a state model predicts that the total could reach 75,000 patients by mid-January.

The rationing plans are not yet in place, but they must be established because “the worst is yet to come,” said Los Angeles County Health Director Dr. Christina Ghaly.

While vaccine deliveries are being made to many health workers and nursing homes across the country, it could be months before the photos become available to the general public. Until then, four hospitals run by Los Angeles County are weighing what to do if they can’t treat everyone because of a lack of beds or staff.

Emergency technician Brenda de la Cruz, right, and RN Janet Hays work outside St. Mary’s Medical Center in sorting tents while handling the overflow from the 200-bed hospital [File: Mike Blake/Reuters]

A recent document released by doctors at the four hospitals suggested that instead of trying to save every life, their goal could be to rescue as many patients as possible – meaning that those least likely to survive will not receive the same type of care.

“One compromise of the standard of care is inevitable; it is not about an entity, system or locality choosing to limit resources, but it is clear that resources are not clearly available to provide care on a regular basis, ”the Los Angeles Times document said.

Many hospitals in California have already implemented emergency procedures to expand staff and space.

The Corona Regional Medical Center, southeast of Los Angeles, has transformed an old emergency room to handle nearly double the usual number of intensive care patients. It also uses two disaster tents to sort patients in the emergency room (ER).

Overall, the state’s UCI capacity was only 2.1% on Sunday. Some hospitals have canceled non-essential elective surgeries, such as hip replacement, which could occupy beds that may soon be needed for COVID-19 patients.

A COVID patient at St Mary’s Medical Center is seen through a door window of a temporary walled area inside the hospital during the outbreak of coronavirus disease in Apple Valley, California. [File: Mike Blake/Reuters]

Nurses say overcoming cases means they have less time to spend with patients, many of whom are sicker than they have ever been.

“The more patients we have, the more likely we are to make a mistake, especially if we’re in a hurry,” said Wendy Macedo, a nurse at UCLA Health Santa Monica Medical Center. “Obviously we’re trying to avoid this, but we’re just human.”

California is facing “some of the darkest days of COVID-19 growth,” Governor Gavin Newsom said, but there was little light on Sunday as a group of scientists and experts approved a vaccine developed by Moderna. The move paves the way for the drug to be distributed in California and other Western states that have examined it separately from the Food and Drug Administration.

Pharmacy chains CVS and rival Walgreens began offering photos last week at some long-term care locations in Connecticut and Ohio, and both companies said they will expand their programs to 12 states starting this week. These states include Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Vermont, CVS Health said Monday.

CVS intends to make three visits to each site to give residents and staff their initials and then a reminder. He expects to complete the program in about three months.

But with vaccines in limited quantities until about mid-year, political leaders are calling on people to stay home and wear masks.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked airlines flying to his state of the United Kingdom to have all passengers take a coronavirus test before boarding. At least one airline, British Airways, agreed, the Democrat said.

Cuomo wants the US government to temporarily suspend flights to the United Kingdom due to the emergence of a new strain of the virus in that country.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced new social assembly restrictions on Sunday, but refused to implement a masked mandate, despite demands from front-line health workers. Tennessee, one of the twelve states without a masked mandate, is facing the largest new per capita cases in the country.

Instead of a masked mandate, the Republican signed an executive order limiting public meetings to 10 people. However, places of worship, weddings and funerals are exempt.