The COVID-19 virus has caused a lot of difficulties and dangers. While the United States has done much to help, such as signing the $2 trillion emergency relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020, hospitals are still struggling even two years later. Here’s what needs to be understood about this healthcare crisis and its severe danger.
Some Hospitals are Better Prepared: Others are Not
As COVID spread throughout the nation in the winter of 2020, hospitals struggled to handle the heavy influx of patients. That experience was harrowing but was beneficial in a few ways. First, it helped prepare workers for the demands of this viral spread and get an idea of how better to handle its unique problems. In other words, medical care simply understands how to handle this disease better.
This fact is fundamental because everyday health problems still occur every day in hospitals. For example, the CDC stated that about two million Americans in hospitals get infections every year, which could complicate COVID treatment and other types of problems. By better treating people with COVID, hospitals with better preparation may more easily handle the demands of this issue.
For example, Dr. Jason Mitchell, the chief medical officer of Presbyterian in New Mexico, stated that he feels confident that hospitals will better handle this problem. He believes hospitals will better prepare for this danger because of the cold and flu seasons and how COVID may worsen them. But as this virus spreads, are hospitals as on top of the situation as necessary? Unfortunately, numbers indicate the problem is only getting worse.
COVID Surges Threaten Hospital Stability
Unfortunately, even with the many vaccinations helping to protect people against COVID infection, surges may remain a problem throughout the winter. Many experts state that this disease is likely to become controllable and easily treatable, minimizing the risk of death. But like with colds and cases of flu, surges in infections will likely occur during the winter: the past two years have shown that easily.
Recent increases throughout the last few months have filled more than 100,000 hospital beds around the nation. This problem has come as more than 10 states suffered their highest hospital admissions of the pandemic, with infections increasing to over 160,000 per day. As a result, many health systems have claimed that they’re in a ‘dangerous place’ and that they could experience rationing of medical care.
Rationing would occur when healthcare systems were so stressed by COVID-19 and related crises that they’d have to cut back on some traditional care options. For instance, people experiencing minor or non-life-threatening health conditions may find themselves turned away at hospitals for the first time, told that they cannot be treated because there’s simply no ability to treat their cases due to bed shortages.
Improvement Requires Persistence and Consistence
Hospital officials state that improvement in COVID-19 conditions will only come with persistence and consistency in treatment. For example, upcoming potential viral therapies may become available soon. These treatments could help keep people with mild cases out of the hospital and minimize a person’s stay in a hospital when they experience more severe and long-lasting complications. Studies also show that physical therapy lowers treatment costs by over 70%.
Medical specialists urge that people with underlying conditions stay out of crowded areas to avoid infection until then. They should also pay attention to early warning symptoms and get care as soon as possible to prevent this condition from worsening and impacting them over the long term.
Thankfully, treatment options have improved over the last few years and have helped make this condition easier to recover. However, it may take many years before COVID-19 is either completely eliminated or considered a minor virus that comes and goes with the seasons. Therefore, specialists suggest that individuals try to follow all medical suggestions, including getting approved vaccinations to avoid issues.