As a result of the development of the Delta form and low immunization rates, Covid-19 instances have driven hospitals all across the country to the brink of collapse, a situation that one expert described as “unfair and intolerable.” Montana’s healthcare system, particularly St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, is under significant pressure. The hospital is working under crisis-level standards of care.
COVID Cases Forcing Hospitals To Limit Treatment
Dr. Megan Ranney, associate professor of internal medicine and associate dean of a Department of Public Health at Brown University, explained that crisis standards of care are powered up in emergency medicine when there are large numbers of casualties, such as after a mass shooting or a large fire, and health doctors must ration their care. In the last week, the United States has seen an average of about 1,926 Covid-19 fatalities each day, the highest daily average before early March.
In order to bring the virus within control, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the “vast majority” of Americans must be immunized. However, according to statistics from the US Centers for Disease and Prevention, just 54 percent of the population has been wholly vaccinated. While this is happening, according to statistics from the United States Department of Health & Human Services, more than 80 percent of ICU beds in the nation are in use, with over 30 percent of those beds occupied by Covid-19 patients.
According to Ranney, some individuals will not be able to access hospital beds as long as hospital systems are in such a severe condition. Others will be unable to get treatment. The lack of enough beds and nurses means that people who arrive in a heart attack may not receive CPR. According to Ranney, patients who otherwise would be admitted to the hospital may be sent home with family members who will be scared and may not be able to provide adequate care because there are not enough beds and nurses.
According to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, approximately 85 percent of Covid-19 fatalities have occurred in individuals who were either partly or completely immunized. He also said that those who were either partly vaccinated or who were not immunized accounted for even more than 87 percent of Covid-19 infections and about 92 percent of hospitalizations.
Asked whether previously infected individuals should be immunized to be protected against the virus, Fauci said that recovered patients had a “great degree of immunity” to the virus. In an interview, he pointed out that it’s unknown how long that protection would be in effect. “They do have some protection,” she says. What we don’t know yet, and we expect to find out soon, is how long the protection will last, and whether or not the kind of protection produced by natural infection will be effective against the wide range of variations that may emerge,” Fauci said. Because the degree of protection a past infection provides is not standard, Ranney thinks that previously infected individuals should be subject to vaccination requirements. She also argues that there is currently no method to certify that someone has healed from a prior illness.