13451404, Nearly a quarter of hospitals are reporting a critical staff shortage|
Posted by handle, Mon Jan-10-22 10:04 AM
I don't know what combination of losing staff from attrition/staff left vs. infected staff.
But let me say that while I disagreed with you that people are quitting because of the 2 week old updated CDC guidance - they have been quitting over the last year.
About 24% of U.S. hospitals are reporting a "critical staffing shortage," according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as public health experts warn the COVID-19 surge fueled by the omicron variant threatens the nation's health care system.
"Given how much infection there is, our hospitals really are at the brink right now," Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, told CNN on Sunday.
Of the approximately 5,000 hospitals that reported this data to HHS on Saturday, nearly 1,200 -- about 1 in 4 -- said they are currently experiencing a critical staffing shortage, the largest share of the entire pandemic. More than 100 other hospitals said they anticipate a shortage within the next week.
The U.S. health care system is Jha's greatest concern, he said, noting the omicron surge could hamper its capacity to care for patients suffering from conditions other than COVID-19.
"The health care system is not just designed to take care of people with COVID … it's designed to take care of kids with appendicitis and people who have heart attacks and get into car accidents," he said.
"And all of that is going to be much, much more difficult because we have a large proportion of the population that is not vaccinated, plenty of high-risk people who are not boosted," he said. "That combination sets up a large pool of people who as they get infected will end up really straining the resources we have in the hospitals today."
These staff shortages are growing as frontline health care workers are either infected or forced to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 just as the demand for treatment skyrockets: More than 138,000 COVID-19 patients were in U.S. hospitals as of Saturday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That's not far from the all-time peak (about 142,200 in mid-January 2021) and an increase from around 45,000 in early November.
To safeguard hospital capacity, some facilities are forced to cut elective surgeries. In New York, for example, 40 hospitals -- mainly in the Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and central regions -- have been told to stop nonessential elective operations for at least two weeks because of low patient bed capacity, the state health department said Saturday.
The University of Kansas Health System is also close to implementing crisis standards of care, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Stites said Saturday, telling CNN, "At some point ... we're too overwhelmed to do any of our normal daily work."
"At that point, we have to turn on a switch that says we got to triage to the people we can help the most," he said, "and that means we've have to let some people die who we might have been able to help but we weren't sure about -- they we're too far gone or had too much of an injury, or maybe we can't get to that trauma that just came in."
Stites said two waves were hitting Kansas simultaneously -- with delta accelerating post-Thanksgiving, to be met by omicron -- describing it as "almost a double pandemic." The vast majority of those being hospitalized are unvaccinated, Stites said.
About 62.5% of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 36% of those have received a booster shot, the data shows.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, told CNN on Saturday the next several weeks will "look bad in many American cities."
"Forty hospitals in New York just canceled elective procedures. The D.C. Hospital Association, where I work, has asked the D.C. government for permission for hospitals to enact crisis standards of care," he said. "And that's coming to every city in the United States."
Los Angeles sees record weekly case numbers
Nationwide, 39 states are reporting a 50% or greater increase in cases during the past week compared to the previous week, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. As of Saturday, the seven-day average of new daily cases in the U.S. was 701,199, per JHU data.
Some localities are now seeing the most new cases they've seen the whole pandemic, including Los Angeles County.
On Saturday, the county reported more than 200,000 confirmed cases over the previous seven days -- the highest number of cases in one week since the start of the pandemic, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Hospitalizations doubled over the week to 3,200 and there were 135 COVID-related deaths, the department said.
With infections rising, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday announced a proposed $2.7 billion COVID-19 Emergency Response Package designed to bolster testing and vaccination efforts, support frontline workers and battle misinformation, his office said in a news release. Newsom also signed an executive order Saturday "establishing consumer protections against price gouging on at-home test kits," according to his office.
The rise in infections is also hitting Los Angeles' children hard.
At Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the positivity rate for children tested for COVID-19 has increased from 17.5% in December to 45% to date in January, according to CHLA Medical Director Dr. Michael Smit.
CHLA currently has 41 patients in-house who have tested positive for COVID-19, and roughly one-quarter of the children admitted to the facility with COVID-19 require admission to the pediatric ICU, with some requiring intubation, Smit told CNN on Saturday.
(More at link)