Covid hotspots in America face ICU shortages in recent months

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Unvaccinated Covid patients are making for fewer available hospital beds, which is leading to the postponement of critical medical treatment and preventative care. We talked about it with Dr. Swapna Reddy of ASU’s College of Health Solutions.

Reddy cites a new poll from the Harvard School of Public Health as containing disturbing information regarding the state of hospitalizations in America.

“What it’s saying is that one out of every five households in the U.S have delayed treatment for serious illnesses or serious conditions over the past few months of this pandemic,” Reddy said.

Reddy said much of this is due to full hospital beds throughout Covid-19 hotspots in America, primarily of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients.

“There’s less capacity for other patients, there’s less capacity for folks who need to come in and get treatment, surgeries, procedures. Also, there’s less capacity to take on really important screening and prevention methods,” Reddy said.

Negative health outcomes have already emerged due to the level of hospital space in America, according to Reddy. Hospital space in Arizona is not particularly low however ICU space has shown to be at lower numbers recently.

“We’ve certainly had our challenges here in Arizona, health systems in the last several months have gone on diversion but we are certainly not in the same situation as places you just mentioned like Idaho, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country,” Reddy said.

Reddy said focus should be put on how to plan for the next pandemic and how hospitals can avoid this situation in the future.

“I think most of the larger healthcare systems are absolutely trying to plan if there is a next pandemic and how to do better but it’s difficult because you have to remember that we’re still dealing with the pandemic at hand,” Reddy said.

Swapna Reddy, ASU College of Health Solutions Assistant Professor

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