COVID cases deplete resources and cause delays to other care
MercyOne North Iowa’s most valuable resources are the providers and colleagues who work tirelessly to provide care to patients and the community.
While there is opportunity to celebrate and recognize the efforts of health care workers, MercyOne points out the fight against COVID-19 is taking its toll. Follow along with us as, for the first time, MercyOne offers an inside look into caring for COVID patients on a critical care unit.
“The demoralizing thing for us is there is still a fair amount of people in the community that don’t think this is real,” says Dr. Doug Summerfield, with MercyOne’s critical care unit. “Unfortunately for anyone on the street, you don’t see what’s going on in the hospital.”
Early on in the pandemic, the shortages in medical centers were ventilators or other medical equipment. We saw hospitals reach out to the public for help to secure enough PPE or masks health care workers wore to remain safe. Now, after more than a year, MercyOne North Iowa is seeing another surge in COVID-19 cases and the human resources it takes to care for COVID-19 patients are running short.
Dr. Sam Congello, cardiologist at MercyOne North Iowa talks about the impact COVID-19 cases are having on other health care. “An unexpected part of all of these COVID cases is that it takes up resources from other procedures that have to be done. Cardiac patients who need lifesaving procedures need to be postponed because there is no place to put them in the ICU or in the hospital.”
On Wednesday, there were 38 patients positive with COVID-19 at MercyOne North Iowa. Dr. Summerfield keeps a positive outlook. “We’ve gotten good at treating the people we can save, but we have lost around 200 patients,” he says. “I think our staff would want to tell the public this is real. Make your own decisions as to what to do about that, but this is happening.”
MercyOne encourages all who are able to take every preventative measure possible. The best way to prevent the spread is to raise the number of vaccinated individuals in north Iowa. If you are not able to receive a vaccine to protect yourself and others, we ask you to remember the basic precautions: Wear a mask, especially when attending indoor events. Avoid large gatherings. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.