Doctors Worried As COVID Hospitalizations In Utah Reach New Record
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The 603 patients in Utah hospitals have doctors worried. They said the ICUs are full and they are worried about risking the level of care.
Rosanna Geddes was one of the first to be treated with Remdezivir, but she said it was the doctors, nurses, and staff that really made all the difference.
With hospitalizations at an all time high, doctors fear the worst is yet to come.
“I was one of those people that didn’t believe that much in COVID,” said Geddes.
Rosanna began experiencing what she described as flu like symptoms.
“I started feeling really sick, fever, I was sweating so much, I was coughing,” she said.
When breathing became too difficult, Rosanna was rushed to the hospital.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to pass out,’ and I thought maybe this is it for me because my breathing was so low and I was having a really hard time,” she said.
She was released after 10 days in the hospital, 2 of which were in the ICU.
“The nurses, the aides, the doctors were just wonderful,” said Geddes.
But as hospitalizations surged, hitting an all time high of 603 statewide on Saturday, doctors said they worry they can’t provide the same level of care long-term.
“Our caregivers are tired, they’re fatigued, and they’re worried about what’s going to happen in the next two weeks, and then you throw on Christmas,” said Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious disease physician with Intermountain Healthcare.
Dr. Stenehjem said at Intermountain Healthcare, they have converted other units and floors to treat patients for COVID-19. They’ve also deployed and cross-trained medical workers from other specialties to care for COVID patients.
“The respiratory ICU is full of just COVID patients,” he said. “We’ve expanded our ICU into one of our cardiac floors, and so we’ve taken a general medical floor and converted part of it into ICU rooms. Now, our COVID patients are overflowing into that ICU and also into the cardiac intensive care unit, the neuro ICU.”
While a vaccine is on the horizon, experts said it’s still a long road ahead for caregivers.
Rosanna, who contracted COVID-19 nearly three months ago, isn’t fully recovered.
“I still depend on oxygen a few hours a day,” she said.
On November 18, a record for new COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a single day was reported with 116. The second highest day was Dec. 1 with 107, but that is likely to go up as final tallies come in.
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