Doctor with vaccine

Hospitals and Businesses Are Offering Incentives To Those Hesitant About Getting COVID-19 Vaccines

Less than a month after vaccines by Pfizer and the Moderna COVID-19 were granted emergency use authorization, hospitals and state officials are reporting that some doses are being left unused. For months, polls have revealed that some Americans remain hesitant to take the vaccine, with many concerned that it was developed too rapidly.

“I am definitely concerned that health care workers are electing to wait to get vaccinated,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a briefing last week.

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Hospital Building

U.S. Health Officials Push Hospitals To Administer Unused Covid Antibody Drugs

The U.S. has shipped over half a million doses of antibody treatments that have the potential to keep high-risk Covid patients out of hospitals if given early enough in their infection.

This would help already overburdened hospitals avoid additional strain, but the drugs are still being underutilized despite their promising results, Trump administration health officials said Thursday. That’s because many patients don’t know how to access them, and hospitals aren’t prescribing the medications or arranging the infusion sites necessary to administer the drugs, they said.

“I want my colleagues to hear me,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told reporters. “You need to think about and be willing to prescribe these medications much more frequently as a way to protect your patients, preserve your hospital capacity and to support your exhausted colleagues.”

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COVID-19 Virus

WHO Warns New Covid Variants Are ‘Highly Problematic’ and Could Further Stress Hospitals

New, more contagious mutated variants of the coronavirus are “highly problematic” and could cause more cases and hospitalizations if the virus’ spread isn’t immediately suppressed, the head of the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The global health agency was alerted over the weekend of a new Covid-19 strain discovered in Japan, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing. On Sunday, Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases said it discovered a new coronavirus variant in four travelers arriving from Brazil.

The variant appears to have some of the same mutations as other strains discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the institute said. Those virus mutations, while highly infectious, don’t appear to make people more ill from the virus, health experts have said.

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Coronavirus Patient

Oxygen is The Latest Covid Bottleneck As Hospitals Cope with Intense Demand

As Los Angeles hospitals give record numbers of Covid patients oxygen, the systems and equipment needed to deliver the life-sustaining gas are faltering.

It’s gotten so bad that Los Angeles County officials are warning paramedics to conserve it. Some hospitals are having to delay releasing patients as they don’t have enough oxygen equipment to send home with them.

“Everybody is worried about what’s going to happen in the next week or so,” said Cathy Chidester, director of the L.A. County Emergency Medical Services Agency.

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Doctors in Hospital

Hospitals Are Already Overwhelmed. Now Some States Are Beginning To Feel The Impact of Holiday Gatherings

Parts of the US are beginning to feel the brunt of last month’s holiday celebrations — at a time when many hospital systems are already at their breaking point.

Experts warned that holiday travel and gatherings could help fuel another surge of Covid-19 infections. Yet millions of Americans traveled anyway — with more than 1.3 million people, a pandemic record — screened by the TSA on Sunday alone.
That’s as the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals on a given day hit another US record Monday, at more than 128,200, according to the COVID Tracking Project. And some states are warning the worst may be yet ahead.

US Hospitals Facing Worrisome Shortage of Nurses, Doctors

SAN FRANCISCO — With so many states seeing a flood of coronavirus patients, U.S. hospitals are again worried about finding enough medical workers to meet demand just as infections from the holiday season threaten to add to the burden on American health care.

California, which is enduring by far its worst spike in cases and hospitalizations, is reaching out to places like Australia and Taiwan to fill the need for 3,000 temporary medical workers, particularly nurses trained in critical care.

“We’re now in a situation where we have surges all across the country, so nobody has many nurses to spare,” said Dr. Janet Coffman, a professor of public policy at the University of California in San Francisco.

Hospitals in some states have enlisted retired nurses and students. In Alabama, more than 120 students and faculty members from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s nursing school began helping with care last week at UAB Hospital.

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‘Critical’ Time For NC Hospitals, ICU Bed Capacity A Concern

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Nearly 3,000 people across North Carolina are in the hospital because of COVID-19. That means, in many areas, hospital beds are filling up fast.

“It is a critical time for our hospital system,” said Novant Health infectious disease expert Dr. David Priest, “with bed capacity and staffing as our primary concern.”

Since Thanksgiving, hospitals across the state have seen an increase in coronavirus patients, Priest said on Tuesday during a virtual media briefing. That combined with an expected seasonal increase in patients needing medical care for other health conditions has “put quite a strain” on local hospitals and healthcare facilities, he said.

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Hospital Hallway

NY Health Officials Urge Hospitals to Expand Capacity

New York health officials are moving forward with a plan meant to free up bed space in hospitals across the state amid a resurgent coronavirus pandemic that is affecting virtually every corner of the country.

The strategy is aimed at ensuring there are enough beds to handle an expected wave of patients through the middle of next month, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote to hospital leaders in a letter sent on Wednesday. At its heart is ensuring New York’s hospitals are not overwhelmed during the upswing in COVID-19 cases.

“We are assuming a continued increase of hospitalizations throughout mid-January,” Zucker wrote in the letter. ‘Hospital capacity will be a major battle. We learned many lessons through the spring. Hospitals can now reasonably predict their expected demand by observing the infection rate increase and hospitalization rate increase in the zip codes in their area. The data is published daily. Unlike the surprise in the spring, we know when and where numbers will increase.”

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Coronavirus Medicine

Thanksgiving Surge Begins. OC Hospitals Told to Add Space, Cancel Surgeries

With COVID-19 hospitalizations at a high, Orange County hospitals were being directed Thursday to implement surge plans and cancel elective surgeries in response to a “crisis” situation that could cause the emergency medical system to “collapse.”

The number of patients hospitalized rose from 974 on Wednesday to 1,025, a new record which includes 257 in intensive care, up from 239 on Wednesday, also a new record. The previous peak was 245 in mid-July.

The Orange County Health Care Agency also reported 1,521 new coronavirus diagnoses on Thursday, raising the cumulative to 94,647.

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Coronavirus Patient

New Federal Data Shows Which Wisconsin Hospitals Are Under The Most Stress From COVID-19

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin may be declining from their peak, but newly released federal data show many of the state’s hospitals have been under what health care experts consider “extreme stress.”

For the first time this week, as more than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shared data it collects on COVID-19 patient levels at individual hospitals.

Hospitalization data has been reported since April by the Wisconsin Hospital Association, but only at statewide and regional levels.

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