The situation in the state of Florida is dire. Hospitals across the state are reporting a massive influx of patients — almost all of whom are unvaccinated — with the Delta strain of coronavirus. As of Monday, nearly 14,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, with 43 percent of them in the ICU.
Orlando’s medical system is buckling under the weight of all its new cases. Finding new beds for patients, and quickly, has become a top priority.
From the Wall Street Journal:
A hospital in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and another east of downtown Orlando were the current hot spots, nurse Andrew Stakelum told the group, a team that oversees work that has become critical for U.S. hospitals during each pandemic surge: finding an open bed for severely ill patients. Delays leave patients unstable from Covid-19 or other ailments in dangerous limbo.
This is the professor of surgery at the University of Central Florida’s medical school sounding the alarm on just how overwhelmed Orlando-area hospitals are.
We are in a state of emergency in Orlando— Sam Atallah, MD (@SamAtallahMD) August 9, 2021
Area hospitals are overflowing with unvaccinated #COVID patients and we have nowhere left to put them
We need a field hospital
Please help us@JoeBiden @GovRonDeSantis @AnnaForFlorida @meganranney @cnnbrk @jeremyfaust @AtulGroverMD
Doctor Aftab Khan told Channel 9, the area’s ABC affiliate, that AdventHealth system, which has seven hospitals in Orlando, has seen more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients over the past few days.
“AdventHealth system is still on status black. Status black means we are up to the brink, where we cannot have any more patients in our hospitals.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, six of AdventHealth’s hospitals are above capacity for patients, with one reporting it is at 123 percent for adult patients.
Dr. Khan added that most of those patients they are seeing were not vaccinated.
After a 72-day battle with Covid-19, hospitalization and rehabilitation, Orlando elementary school PE teacher Terry Greear says he is "lucky" to be alive.— CNN (@CNN) August 10, 2021
His message: Get vaccinated.
"No one's wife or husband needs to tell their kids that mom or dad may not come home." pic.twitter.com/7clA4RbsgF
The medical community in the Orlando area may soon have to worry about where to put patients with other pressing medical issues such as heart attacks, strokes, or even accident victims.
The greatest concern is that the high number of patients will lead to delays in treatment, which could lead to disaster.
More from WSJ:
Research on Covid-19 patients across more than 550 hospitals between March and August 2020 found patients’ risk of death doubled at hospitals hardest hit by surges, said the study’s lead author, Sameer Kadri, head of clinical epidemiology in critical care for the National Institutes of Health’s clinical research hospital. Results were published last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine.