Four million cases and rising; what CoVID-19 looks like on the frontlines of America
With cases of CoVID-19 topping 4 million across the United States, the latest CDC COVIDView report shows that weekly hospitalization rates are higher now than at any other time during the pandemic - driven mostly by steep increases in adults 65 and older.
The numbers alone are staggering. However, it’s when you hear reports from the frontline that the true horror and reality of healthcare services under strain comes into focus.
In the UK’s Mirror newspaper, Lawanna Rivers, a nurse at University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, describes “horrific” conditions within the hospital.
She claims that with the state struggling to cope with a surge in cases “a lot of people died that I feel like shouldn't have died.” The Mirror quotes a Facebook video in which Lawanna says, "I was put in what's called a 'pit', and in this pit was eight patients, all CoVID-19 positive…on my first day of orientation I was told, 'Whatever patients go into the pit, they only come out in a bodybag'."
In New Mexico, more than 350 doctors, nurses and health care practitioners and providers from all across the state have signed an open letter urging New Mexicans to double down on safe practices and personal caution to slow the spread of CoVID-19. If not, they fear the state’s healthcare and hospital resources will quickly be overwhelmed. The letter ran as an advertisement in 19 newspapers across the state. Sadly, since then, there has been a 41% increase in CoVID-19 cases.
Over in Ohio, a third of Intensive Care Unit beds are currently occupied by a CoVID-19 positive patient. The Ohio State University Wexner Center is reported to be ordering extra refrigerated trucks as its morgue reaches full capacity. Similar stories are emerging from across the country.
When visiting a hospital, whether with symptoms of CoVID-19 or another ailment, you want the best treatment available. So, in addition to following CDC advice – wearing a mask over your mouth and nose, staying 6ft from others, washing hands and staying at home if you can – what does safe practice look like?
Alongside adequate PPE, the use of physical barrier methods, such as the AerosolShield, work best in protecting patients from cross contamination of CoVID-19.
The normalisation of physical barriers to prevent cross contamination whilst treating CoVID-19 positive and undiagnosed patients is key. In applying this same logic to the wearing of face coverings, Lloyd Minor from Stanford University School of Medicine says “health care professionals play a unique and incredibly potent role in influencing social norms. In a world where scientists must battle rampant misinformation, most people trust their doctors, even as trust in other institutions erodes. And there’s a reason: doctors are tasked with keeping people safe, politics aside.”
Emphasizing their credibility to patients and communities on the issue of infection and contamination, doctors and other frontline workers will win them around to physical barrier methods such as shielding and facemasks.
By blocking the transmission of aerosol-borne contagions, such as CoVID-19 which has been shown to stay in the air in a given area anywhere from 3 hours to 3 days, shielding keeps the virus contained. During this time, anyone passing through an exposed, enclosed space, such as a ward, hospital corridor, radiology department, or transport service, is at increased risk of infection.
With the rise in the number of cases showing no signs of stopping soon, we’re committed to helping patients, medics and communities across the country. We would love to send free AerosolShields to the hospitals we’ve mentioned in Texas, Ohio and New Mexico. If you work at these hospitals, or know someone who does, please get in touch with our US office representative, Paige@aerosolshield.com
Photo by Jonnica Hill on Unsplash