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As the coronavirus continues to cross the United States, the first line Health workers Not only are they in the crosshairs, but they are also caught in the midst of the growing concern that the medical facilities themselves could become hubs for transmission.
In addition, global experts fear that the United States will soon take over from China and Italy, becoming the epicenter of the spread of the disease.
“Health workers live in a state of constant anxiety and fear – fear of being exposed by sick patients, of falling sick themselves, of accidentally bringing the virus home to loved ones,” said Dr. Summer McGee, Dean of the School of Health. Science at the University of New Haven, said Fox News. “Every day is filled with compromises, compromises and life and death decisions on a scale and regularity that our health care system has never seen.”
Through its lens, one of the biggest concerns is that health professionals “know they are working in sub-optimal and, in some cases, downright dangerous working conditions”.
“Many hospitals are telling workers that you cannot even use masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) until they confirm that a patient has COVID-19, but the tests are not available for COVID-19. These healthcare workers play Russian roulette with every patient they treat, “she said.” Having to ration, reuse or do without entirely protective gear is a major concern. Many healthcare organizations have PPE today but only have a two-week supply. “
In recent weeks, the new pathogen – believed to originate from a Chinese wet market at the end of last year – has infected more than 64,500 Americans and killed more than 900. Since Wednesday afternoon, more than 12 states reported more than 1,000 cases, New York recorded more than 26,400, followed by neighboring New Jersey with 3,675 and California with nearly 2,700.
The United States accounts for 13.5% of the world’s confirmed cases and some 4.2% of its deaths – a figure that is increasing hour by hour. Subsequently, the supply of vital PPE was apparently unable to meet the growing demand, given the fast-acting nature of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
Lawmakers and leaders also fear that a disproportionate infection rate among claimants, making them sick and unable to work, could worsen the already existing calamity.
“The hospitals are already short of staff because we are in a severe flu season. Long hours, the lack of protective equipment and the limitation of tests raise fears that they are flying blind”, explained the Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a board certified surgeon, disease specialist and founder of the California-based La Jolla laser surgery center. “It’s a trying scene when you don’t protect a limited number of skilled workers. We can’t afford to lose them.”
Beyond doctors and nurses in medical establishments, overwhelmed and ill-equipped hospitals as transmission points also threaten other vital services, including security and cleaning staff. In addition, the disease has ravaged police and fire departments across the country, and dozens of EMTs are also struggling with a high number of diagnoses among the ranks.
Fox News interviewed a number of front-line medical workers across the country who could only speak on condition of anonymity because they had a strict mandate not to speak to the press about developments.
A Mississippi emergency doctor noted that some staff were put on leave this week after experiencing symptoms related to the coronavirus, said that in the same incidence, five patients from the same family were all in critical condition – needing respirators – after being in close contact with someone else at a funeral a week before you get sick.
“The public can help us by not exposing themselves or by exposing others and by practicing social distancing,” said the doctor.
The source portrayed the state’s emergency room scene as a “marathon”, with the number of people needing ventilators representing more than half of the confirmed cases, and staff working extended shifts for more than three consecutive weeks.
Dr. Dan Field, chief medical officer at M.D. Staffers, noted that with such demanding hours, many staff are struggling to obtain safe and adequate child care.
“The best thing anyone can do to help the medical profession is to follow the rules set out to flatten the curve while minimizing contact and the risk of infection. Go to the emergency room only if you are sicker than one dog and you feel like you’re headed for death, “he said. “Otherwise, find a way to get by with telemedicine and similar contactless communication.”
Another New York doctor at a large hospital treating a number of coronavirus patients early last week lamented the rapid lack of PPE and the reuse of n95 masks and even brown paper masks . At another New York hospital, a sonographer expressed frustration at not wearing masks because patients complained that it was causing them anxiety, causing an additional layer of stress for workers and their workers. families.
In addition, many experts fear that, given China’s initial stifling of information about the virus and incorrect information about its transmission from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the first critical weeks of the deadly pathogen swarmed uncontrolled. hospitals and medical offices for weeks.
While at least 15 states have issued orders to stay at home and close non-essential businesses, local governments in many other pockets of the country are now forced to adopt equally stringent measures, including closing public places and restaurants, as well as a ban on medical procedures and surgeries deemed not immediately necessary to ensure as much space and resources left in the middle of the battle for coronaviruses.
“We just lost a young nurse in Saint Louis because of the Wuhan virus,” said Dr. Scott Magill, executive director of Veterans in Defense of Liberty and a former soldier in the US military. “Watching these medical warriors, doctors, nurses and hospital staff, putting themselves and their families in grave danger for the good of humanity, is emotionally powerful.”
And Dr. Josh Luke, CEO of a Los Angeles-based hospital – most recently Memorial Hospital of Gardena in Los Angeles County – estimated that LA county officials and Orange County officials in California have refused his help, and we were basically told, “We are not set up to attract individuals. We rely on health systems to help with pop-up hospitals and overflow isolation hotels.”
As a former hospital CEO and registered nursing home administrator with significant experience in managing ventilation units, Luke noted that paperwork is a restriction in times of desperate need. He said doctors are being asked to step out of retirement to help, but the process of streamlining management is “clearly flawed”.
After being turned away by LA county officials, Luke said he drove this week to a Pomona hotel that was being converted to deal with an overflow of isolation and had been turned away by security.
However, national data on the extent to which healthcare workers have been affected by the coronavirus are not yet available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Attila Hertelendy, a Florida-based expert in biomedicine and emergency and disaster management, also pointed out that the usual burden already placed on the medical infrastructure did not suddenly disperse due to the attack on the coronavirus, either.
“Most of the current challenges in our healthcare establishments arise from the management of the daily patients who come to our establishments, these patients who suffer from chronic diseases requiring daily treatment such as dialysis, chemotherapy, etc. They are not just leaving because there is a coronavirus pandemic, “he said.” Finding ways to continue providing high quality care to vulnerable patient groups such as the disabled, the elderly remains a challenge as resources are diverted to handle an increasing number of cases per day. “
Despite many criticisms of the lack of preparation for such a public health crisis, a late 2019 assessment of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHCHS) ranked the United States as the country the world’s best prepared to deal with a pandemic.
President Trump acknowledged this week that the pandemic is expected to worsen, but assured workers that federal authorities are responding to concerns about specialty masks and surgical gowns, with shipments underway. Trump said on Wednesday that FEMA is distributing 8 million medical masks and 14 million surgical masks.
US officials have asked South Korea to help get supplies to fight the pandemic as tensions mount between Washington and Beijing – which has generally outsourced much of the world with such medical needs – on the virus. Unrest swirls amid veiled threats from the Communist leadership that supplies would be withheld if they were to face the blame of the coronavirus.
In addition, the sudden onset of the coronavirus also illuminated the ingenuity and altruism of many American individuals and private companies. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says more than 40,000 health professionals have volunteered to provide assistance in New York alone – about 6,000 of them in the mental health field to provide online services free to those who need it.
Other non-traditional businesses – from manufacturers of cars and electronics to small clothing businesses – have also started manufacturing essential medical supplies, including respirators, respirators, masks and gowns. Companies developing home test kits have even reversed the trend in the past week and have chosen to send their technologies instead to medical facilities as their top priority.
Others, however, are more skeptical of what lies ahead as the workload across the country increases.
“Once our capacity for ventilation and intensive care has been exhausted, physicians and administrators must be prepared for how they will make rationing decisions, in the field and in real time, who will receive life-saving care and who won’t do it, “added McGee. “Everyone is talking about the capacity of the intensive care beds and ventilators, but I worry about the health staff and the staffing capacity. Once the health workers start to find out who can intervene to providing care? I don’t see that we have a solid plan for it. “