Unvaccinated Covid Patients Are Straining Hospitals Like Mine, Where I Had To Turn A Cancer Patient Away

Those who have not been vaccinated are killing people in ways they could never have imagined. As the delta variant spreads, hospitals in Florida, Alabama, and other states have been overrun with COVID patients, almost all of whom declined vaccination. Intensive-care unit beds are scarce or non-existent as everyday infections set new records.

Unvaccinated Covid Patients Are Straining Hospitals Like Mine, Where I Had To Turn A Cancer Patient Away

However, non-COVID patients have been harmed by the rush, such as the Texas shooting victim who had to wait more than a week for surgery. Stroke sufferers in Louisiana who are unable to be admitted to hospitals and the cancer patient I had to turn away recently.

Unvaccinated Covid Patients Are Straining Hospitals Like Mine, Where I Had To Turn A Cancer Patient Away

However, non-COVID patients have been harmed by the rush, such as the Texas shooting victim who had to wait more than a week for surgery. Stroke sufferers in Louisiana who are unable to be admitted to hospitals and the cancer patient I had to turn away recently.

He received a call on Aug 3 from a hospital that does not have a cancer program. At the regional referral center where he works, such calls are common. A patient with metastatic brain cancer was treated by a doctor at a nearby hospital. She was unable to walk, and there was no hope for a significant recovery unless she received immediate radiation treatment.

Usually, she would approve a transfer and begin therapy for that patient the same day. However, the situation is no longer usual.

His hospital, one of the largest in central Florida, was overflowing with COVID patients, with over 90% of them being unvaccinated. They didn’t have any beds available, had put an end to elective surgery the week before, and were endeavoring to manage the flood of people. That day, their emergency department had a 12-hour wait.

This was a crisis, but he didn’t have the means to assist. When he started her oncology practice, and even before he became a physician, he wanted to uphold the principle that my grandfather established when he first started practicing in the 1950s, and that their family had upheld over six decades of caring for people with cancer: Never turn away a patient, regardless of their financial situation or other circumstances.

But he didn’t have a choice. He had to say no for the first time in her career. They learned last month at a Florida Medical Association meeting that state Department of Health data suggested that this wave would peak in late October. They also learned that, with schools starting in August, the number of cases would continue to rise in the coming month. The number of infected children admitted to intensive-care units was already slowly increasing. As the delta version has spread, the number of pediatric cases has increased, however, the virus’s long-term impact on children is unknown.

Things were looking up when the conference was organized months ago: vaccinations were being rolled out to the broader public, and illnesses were on the decline. They had not expected such a large number of unvaccinated people to swarm our hospitals and emergency rooms. We believed the worst of COVID-19 had passed us by.

¬†There’s a lot more to be concerned about than just the current issue. Patients avoided hospitals and clinics after the COVID outbreak because they were afraid of contracting the coronavirus. Routine screenings are often postponed by many people. Patients’ situations deteriorate as a result of delaying care, whether it’s screening or surgeries. He was already seeing more advanced malignancies in his clinic than he had ever seen before. According to a survey of seniors published in November, tests for breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancers decreased last year compared to 2019. There were also fewer biopsies, operations, and trips to the doctor’s office.

The most powerful weapon we have to help end the epidemic is the incredibly successful coronavirus vaccines, which have been given to almost 200 million Americans with few side effects or consequences.

Vaccination is necessary for all Americans. We must do so for ourselves, our children who are too young to get vaccinated, and our neighbors who may be unable to receive medical care for various reasons as hospitals struggle with waves of unvaccinated people. The person who went through this was Nitesh. N who is Tampa Oncology & Proton’s medical director is a radiation oncologist.

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