Delta variant patients fill hospitals in WA, sparking concern – KIRO 7 news Seattle
SEATTLE – Officials from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) have said they are increasingly concerned about an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations statewide.
Fueled by the spread of the delta variant, an average of 1,500 new cases have been reported each day since July 29.
Additionally, DOH officials said hospital occupancy rates were at the highest levels seen to date in 2021. Currently, more than 600 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with overall hospitalizations increasing by 20% since July 25.
Healthcare workers said unvaccinated people made up the vast majority of patients in hospital intensive care units.
“A lot of them didn’t need to be here and didn’t have to get so sick,” said Valeri Hodson of Providence Everett. “For some people, it’s a matter of life and death.
Hodson reported that his workload had quadrupled since early July, largely because of those using the delta variant.
“Everyone works three times harder than they normally would,” she told KIRO 7. “You feel like you probably have a workload of at least three people. “
At the Swedish Medical Center, Dr Mark Sullivan can certainly relate to himself.
There are currently 10 COVID-19 patients in his intensive care division and the number is increasing every day.
“It leads to burnout and frustration and people choosing to leave healthcare for their own mental health and well-being,” Sullivan said.
As COVID-19 patients fill intensive care beds at both Swedish and Providence Everett, KIRO 7 has learned that plans are in place to tackle overcrowding.
That’s because if things continue to get worse, both places are planning to set up makeshift intensive care beds in other parts of the hospital.
“As these COVID numbers increase and you expect a number of them to need intensive care, your capacity decreases even more,” Sullivan said.
“We get creative and send nurses where they need to go. It’s a big puzzle every day, ”noted Hodson.
Comparing Providence Everett to Swedish Medical Center, KIRO 7 found that Swedish is doing better so far.
Out of 124 intensive care beds across the Swedish system, 10 are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, in Providence, the intensive care unit is full.
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