New York hospitals combat outbreak

New York hospitals combat outbreak - us-canada

People line up to have a test at Elmhurst Hospital because of coronavirus outbreak on March 24, 2020 in Queens, New York, United States. There are now more than 35,000 instances of COVID-19 from the United States as governments struggle to contain the spread.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez | Getty Images

The top surgeon of a leading New York City hospital dealing with a flood of hundreds of patients infected with the coronavirus rallied his team with a letter that compared the pandemic to a typhoon, and urged them to stand strong in its face.

“A forest of bamboo bends to the ground in a typhoon but rarely breaks,” wrote Dr. Craig Smith, surgeon in chief in New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in upper Manhattan.

“We are that forest and we must not break,” Smith wrote. “By the people, for the people.”

Hospitals in new york now have more than two,800 patients with the coronavirus, straining their current capacity.

Many of these patients are in Smith’s hosital or at other New York-Presbyterian facilities around the Big Apple.

Smith stated in his letter that admissions of patients for COVID-19 to his hospital system have continued increasing by roughly 10percent percent every day.

A nurse at Columbia University Medical Center in upper Manhattan said several hundreds of patients there alone had the coronavirus.

About 20percent of the hospital’s coronavirus patients are in intensive care units, according to Smith’s letter.

And 80percent of ICU patients need ventilators, which are in extremely short supply in New York state, the epicenter for the pandemic in america.

“Consult a compound-interest calculator to get a sense how quickly we are approaching infrastructure capacity limits,” Smith wrote.

“We are scheduling very urgent cases in 3 ORs (operating rooms) each day, with 2 rooms for true emergencies.”

New York state has more than 30,800 confirmed instances of COVID-19, with over 5,000 more cases reported Tuesday. New York City alone has over 17,850 cases, even though the majority of those people aren’t hospitalized.

Dr. Craig Spencer, who works as an emergency room physician at Columbia University Medical Center, cautioned that individual “case numbers are increasing on a daily basis and soon our hospitals are going to be overwhelmed.”

“At the rate that we’re putting people on ventilators, at some hospitals one to two per hour, the simple math shows it’s only a matter of time until we run out,” Spencer stated during an interview on NBC’s “TODAY Show.”

Dr. Craig Spencer on the “Today” series

Source: NBC

Spencer compared the experience at Columbia-Presbyterian to working in West Africa in 2014, when he contracted the disease Ebola.

“This coronavirus pandemic is worse than working in West Africa during Ebola because I never once worried about my personal protective equipment in West Africa,” Spencer said.

“This virus unfortunately is perfect in the sense that it spreads really really well, it hits all age groups,” Spencer said.  “It’s really scary the potential this virus has.”

Spencer has posted a dramatic Twitter thread about his experience working amid the crisis.

Tens of thousands of Twitter users, such as former President Barack Obama, have retweeted Spencer’s thread.

New York hospitals combat outbreak - us-canada

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