Tag: Hospitals

Which coronavirus patients will get life-saving ventilators? Guidelines show how hospitals in NYC, US will decide

Which coronavirus patients will get life-saving ventilators? Guidelines show how hospitals in NYC, US will decide

NEW YORK — The coronavirus pandemic has added an important duty to Dr. Mitchell Katz’s job as head of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the nation’s largest public health care system.

Before going to sleep after marathon days, he checks to make sure each of the 11 acute care hospitals he oversees has enough ventilators to help critically ill COVID-19 patients breathe.

“That will not go beyond Sunday, when we will exhaust our supply,” Katz said during a news conference earlier this week with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

But on Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state had shipped 400 ventilators, providing a few more days of capacity. 

Still, the need remains dire, and growing, as coronavirus sufferers crowd hospitals.

The shortage is forcing health care officials in New York City to weigh ethical questions about who should get priority. Their counterparts

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Why U.S. hospitals see promise in plasma from new coronavirus patients

Why U.S. hospitals see promise in plasma from new coronavirus patients

By Deena Beasley

(Reuters) – U.S. hospitals desperate to help very sick patients with COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, are trying a treatment first used in the 1890s that relies on blood plasma donated by recovered patients.

    People who survive an infectious disease like COVID-19 are generally left with blood containing antibodies, or proteins made by the body’s immune system to fight off a virus. The blood component that carries the antibodies can be collected and given to newly infected patients – it is known as “convalescent plasma.”

    More than 275,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and epidemiologists say hundreds of thousands more likely have the disease.

    To help match donors to hospitals, the AABB, formerly the American Association of Blood Banks, this week issued guidelines on plasma collection. The American Red Cross also launched an online registry for potential donors.

    The U.S.

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India faces spike in coronavirus cases, says study, in test for health system

CORRECTED-EXPLAINER-Why U.S. hospitals see promise in plasma from new coronavirus patients

(Corrects number of infected Americans to more than 275,000)

By Deena Beasley

April 4 (Reuters) – U.S. hospitals desperate to help very sick patients with COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, are trying a treatment first used in the 1890s that relies on blood plasma donated by recovered patients.

People who survive an infectious disease like COVID-19 are generally left with blood containing antibodies, or proteins made by the body’s immune system to fight off a virus. The blood component that carries the antibodies can be collected and given to newly infected patients – it is known as “convalescent plasma.”

More than 275,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and epidemiologists say hundreds of thousands more likely have the disease.

To help match donors to hospitals, the AABB, formerly the American Association of Blood Banks, this week issued guidelines on plasma collection. The American Red

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a medical ethicist on how hospitals make difficult decisions

a medical ethicist on how hospitals make difficult decisions

All healthcare resources are limited – staff, equipment, drugs, space and time can all run out. And these resources become even scarcer in cases of unprecedented demand, such as with COVID-19.

Decisions about the use and allocation of scarce resources are regularly made in medicine. These include the allocation of donor organs for transplant, A&E triage and surgery waiting lists. These usually proceed on the basis of those with the greatest medical need being given priority.

But the way these allocation decisions are made in crisis situations differs. This is because medical need is no longer adequate as a basis by itself – as there are more people in urgent need than resources available to help them.

Access to ventilators, for example, is likely to be one of the most challenging resources to allocate – this may mean patients dying without ventilation.

The ethical dilemma

Decisions on how to allocate

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Houston hasn't reported a surge of coronavirus cases. But its hospitals tell a different story.

Houston hasn’t reported a surge of coronavirus cases. But its hospitals tell a different story.

HOUSTON — Two weeks ago, Houston Methodist Hospital opened a special unit to treat critically ill coronavirus patients. The city had reported only a handful of confirmed cases at that point, but the hospital’s 24-bed coronavirus ICU filled up in only about a week, far faster than doctors anticipated.

Alexandra Carnahan, 26, one of the nurses assigned to the unit, was surprised by the number of patients who were in their 30s or 40s, with no prior health problems. Now they were intubated and in critical condition, suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

These patients can’t have visitors, and most are heavily sedated. So Carnahan and other nurses hold their hands while checking vitals, “to maintain that human connection,” she said. The nurses remind them where they are and try to explain why their families can’t be there, though it’s difficult to know whether the patients

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Lizzo buys lunch for medical workers at multiple US hospitals

Lizzo buys lunch for medical workers at multiple US hospitals

Lizzo has bought lunches for medical staff on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Monday, the University of Washington hospital in Seattle thanked the “Juice” singer for providing food for its healthcare workers.

“Thank you @Lizzo for sending lunches to the UW Medical Center – Montlake Emergency Department today!” the hospital tweeted.

“Your support of our frontline healthcare workers means a lot. #WeGotThisSeattle.”

The musician sent meals to a number of hospitals across the US, including ones in Minnesota and Louisiana.

“She sent several hospitals food that were hit really hard for staff working around the clock,” her publicist told The Seattle Times.

“She is planning to send food to more hospitals as well.”

Lizzo posted a short video on her Instagram featuring clips and photographs of hospital workers with the meals she sent.

Hospitals to have received food from the singer include University Medical Center in Nashville

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Hospitals are already deciding how to ration ventilators

Hospitals are already deciding how to ration ventilators

  • Ethicists are working around the clock to draft guidance for hospitals about how to ration scarce resources like ventilators if they run short because of the coronavirus.
  • Governors are making sure healthcare workers won’t be held liable for the tough decisions ahead, like taking away one patient’s ventilator and giving it to someone else with a better shot at surviving. 
  • Experts at Johns Hopkins and the American Medical Association are fielding lots of calls from hospitals,  doctors and public health officials about what to do.
  • Those tasked with the administration of allocation programs are feeling the pressure. “If this has to happen, there’s nothing about it that will feel right. And there’s all kinds of ways in which it will feel wrong,” one coordinator told us. 
  • New York could be the first state to see ventilator allocation, but hospitals in Washington State, Colorado, Maryland, Nebraska and Wyoming are gearing up
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Hospitals are gearing up to choose which patients to save if they run low on crucial equipment

Hospitals are gearing up to choose which patients to save if they run low on crucial equipment

A bed with a ventilator is located in a patient room in an intensive care unit.
A bed with a ventilator is located in a patient room in an intensive care unit.

Uwe Anspach/dpa/Getty Images

  • Ethicists are working around the clock to draft guidance for hospitals about how to ration scarce resources like ventilators if they run short because of the coronavirus.

  • Governors are making sure healthcare workers won’t be held liable for the tough decisions ahead, like taking away one patient’s ventilator and giving it to someone else with a better shot at surviving. 

  • Experts at Johns Hopkins and the American Medical Association are fielding lots of calls from hospitals,  doctors and public health officials about what to do.

  • Those tasked with the administration of allocation programs are feeling the pressure. “If this has to happen, there’s nothing about it that will feel right. And there’s all kinds of ways in which it will feel wrong,” one coordinator told us. 

  • New York could be the

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Athletic trainers step up: App aids overworked hospitals

Athletic trainers across the country are changing their routines and joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Athletic Trainers Association put together an app aimed at helping trainers assist understaffed hospitals. The app was intended to give health care providers a database to look for help nationwide. More than 950 athletic trainers have signed up over the last week.

Christina Eyers generally oversees about 40 trainers in her role as a director of athletic training in Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System. Most of them are assisting medical staffs in and around Detroit, recently cited as a

in the pandemic.

“My staff has been very eager,” Eyers said.

They do not provide critical medical care. Instead, Eyers said her organization’s trainers have been screening patients, which typically means checking for symptoms and taking their temperatures. Some have helped in shipping prescriptions.

The assistance has come in handy.

“With the

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Rural residents' access to hospitals is already a problem. Coronavirus could make it worse.

Rural residents’ access to hospitals is already a problem. Coronavirus could make it worse.

When Timaree Koscik’s husband, Tom, fell off the couple’s roof in Tonopah, Nevada, and shattered his heels, she knew what they had to do.

“It was just like, ‘Well, put him in the car and take him to Bishop.’ ” The closest hospital is in Bishop, California, 115 miles away. 

“You just do what you have to do,” she said.

The remoteness of Tonopah, population 2,200, now feels like a buffer against the coronavirus pandemic. It’s more than 200 miles from the flare-up of cases in Las Vegas. As of March 26, there was only one case in all of Nye County’s 18,000 square miles. 

“Honestly, I think we’re better off here in the middle of nowhere than in the cities,” Koscik said.

But she knows it’s a false sense of security. Anyone sickened by COVID-19 may be hundreds of miles from the nearest open hospital bed, ventilator or

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