In this 2020 file photo, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks at a COVID-19 press conference held at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center. DeWine held a briefing on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tony DeJack, file) The Associated Press
Cleveland, Ohio — Doctors and nurses said at Governor Mike DeWine’s briefing on Tuesday that medical professionals across the state are exhausted due to shortages of staff and lack of equipment during the current COVID-19 surge Make it more difficult to care for the patient.
Dr. Suzanne Bennett of the University of Cincinnati Health Center said that due to the shortage of nurses across the country, large academic medical centers are struggling to take care of patients.
Bennett said: “It creates a scene that no one wants to think about. We don’t have the space to accommodate patients who could have benefited from treatment at these large academic medical centers.”
Terri Alexander, a registered nurse at Summa Health in Akron, said the young patients she saw had no previous response to treatment.
“I think everyone here is emotionally exhausted,” Alexander said. “It is difficult to reach our current level of staffing, we have a shortage of equipment, and we play the bed and equipment balance game that we play every day.”
Alexander said that Americans are not used to being turned away from hospitals or being overcrowded and unable to place sick relatives in the intensive care unit.
A contingency plan was developed a year ago to ensure that there are enough beds during the pandemic, such as the conversion of conference centers and other large areas into hospital spaces. Dr. Alan Rivera, a resident at the Fulton County Health Center near Toledo, said Ohio can put the physical part of the emergency plan in place, but the problem is that there is a lack of staff to take care of patients in these places.
Rivera said the number of nursing staff at the Fulton County Health Center was reduced by 50% because nurses left, retire, or looked for other jobs due to emotional stress.
Rivera said: “Now we have a surge in numbers this year, not because we have more COVID patients, but because we have fewer people caring for the same number of COVID patients.”
DeWine said the number of hospitalizations under the age of 50 is increasing in the state. He said that approximately 97% of COVID-19 patients of all ages in Ohio hospitals have not been vaccinated.
Alexander said she welcomes the vaccination regulations that will take effect in Suma next month. Bennett said she supports vaccine authorization to help Ohio increase vaccination rates.
“Obviously, this is a hot topic, and it is a sad state of affairs…because it has reached the point where we have to ask the government to participate in the enforcement of things that we know are based on science and evidence, which can prevent death,” Bennett said.
Bennett said it remains to be seen whether the upcoming vaccine enforcement deadline at the Greater Cincinnati Hospital will cause an outflow during a shortage of personnel.
DeWine said he is considering a new incentive to encourage Ohioans to get vaccinated. Ohio held a weekly millionaire raffle for Ohioans who had received at least one COVID-19 injection earlier this year. The lottery awards $1 million in prizes to adults every week and college scholarships to students aged 12-17.
“We have told every health department in the state that if you want to provide monetary rewards, you can do so, and we will pay for it,” Devin said.
DeWine stated that he did not participate in the discussion on House Bill 248 called the “Vaccine Selection and Anti-Discrimination Act”, which would prohibit employers, including medical institutions, and even require workers to disclose their vaccine status.
His staff are looking for ways to help school districts facing a shortage of bus drivers due to the pandemic. “I don’t know what we can do, but I have asked our team to see if we can come up with some ways to help,” he said.
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Post time: Sep-22-2021