Dr. Geneva Tem has experienced three significant surges in COVID-19 patients at the Henry Ford Health System, and her team in the intensive care unit is “deeply concerned” that another wave is imminent. increase.
“If more people aren’t vaccinated, the threat of a fourth surge in Michigan is very real,” said Tatem, deputy chief of lung and critical care at Henry Ford Health System. increase.
“During a pandemic, we have seen so many lives change and be lost forever. Today we have effective tools that can guide us on a better path. For those who are not vaccinated, you no longer have the comfort of time. Getting your shot is a matter of life or death. “
Tatem talked on Thursday, September 9th, about the challenges hospitals face 18 months after the pandemic and the importance of vaccination of more people to ease the burden on healthcare providers. She attended a 60-minute virtual press event with representatives from the Michigan Health Hospital Association and the Michigan Small Business Association.
As of Wednesday, a Michigan hospital was treating 1,415 patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. Hospitalizations have not yet reached the levels seen in previous surges that approached or exceeded 4,000 COVID patients at a time, but the latest numbers have increased by almost 50% from three weeks ago and continue to rise. I am.
Increasing the total number of COVID patients is straining health care workers who are already tired and understaffed. In addition, non-COVID patients are more ill than usual, resulting in delayed treatment and require longer hospital stays. Of a pandemic.
Brian Peters, CEO of MHA, said: “Vaccination is the right thing to do from an economic perspective, the right thing to do from a health and wellness perspective, and the front-line care of hospitals across the state that are mentally and physically tired. That’s right for them, thanks to the work they put in to help us all up to this point in the pandemic. “
Dr. Nicole Linder, chief hospitalist at OSF St. Francis Hospital Medical Group in Escanaba, said staff at a small hospital on the Upper Peninsula care for “very large” COVID patients compared to the population of the community. I did. They, like other hospitals across the country, can struggle with bed availability and staff levels.
Vaccine development has given hope to Linder and her care group-a glimpse of the goal line-but despite the availability of sufficient vaccines, enough people are willing to be shot and another hospitalization It led to an important wave.
“The difference is that almost all the patients we care for have chosen not to be vaccinated,” Linder said. “Few patients have been vaccinated in the hospital. On the other hand, less than can be counted. None of them were very serious illnesses, none of them we were with them. I never died of illness while I was there. “
Healthcare professionals feel the same COVID fatigue as other people. They also want to “return to normal”. Linder says it can only be achieved with higher vaccination rates. As of Tuesday, September 7, approximately 61% of Michigan residents over the age of 12 had been vaccinated for the first time, and 56.2% had been fully vaccinated.
“I’m tired and heartbroken, and I’m tired of seeing people suffer unnecessarily and die of illnesses that could have been prevented by a simple, safe and effective vaccine.” Said Linder.
In June, the Michigan Small Business Association asked its members how they felt about their potential to survive the pandemic. About 63% said COVID-19 would continue to have a negative impact on the business in 2021, and 18% felt pessimistic about being able to keep the door open as a result of the pandemic. Said.
SBAM CEO Rob Fowler said the association and its members are concerned that it could retreat in terms of limits and capacity limits due to the potential for a significant fourth surge. rice field. The solution, he said, is to vaccinate a larger workforce and customer base.
“For any difficulties we faced during this pandemic, we all want our community to thrive and our school kids and our business to profit again. We can confidently say that we share the same goal, “Fowler said. “Almost half of Michigan’s workforce is employed by small businesses. To re-health and maintain our community and economy, each of us is vaccinated to end this pandemic. I am responsible. “
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, 113,000 Americans could have been vaccinated in June and July to avoid hospitalization, which is about $ 2.3 billion in preventable medical costs. Equivalent.
The three coronavirus vaccines available have proven effective in preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19, with the majority of hospitalizations and deaths coming from unvaccinated populations. One vaccine developed by Pfizer has been fully approved by the FDA, and the other two from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been granted an emergency use authorization after a thorough review process.
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