Hospital

‘People Are Going To Die’: Hospitals in Half The States Are Facing A Massive Staffing Shortage as Covid-19 Surges

Hospitals in at least 25 states are critically short of nurses, doctors, and other staff as coronavirus cases surge across the United States, according to the industry’s trade association and a tally conducted by STAT. The situation has gotten so bad that in some places, severely ill patients have been transferred hundreds of miles for an available bed — from Texas to Arizona, and from central Missouri to Iowa.

Many of these hospitals spent months building up stockpiles of medical equipment and protective gear in response to Covid-19, but the supplies are of little use without adequate staffing.

“Care is about more than a room with a hospital bed. It’s about medical professionals taking care of patients,” said John Henderson, chief executive of the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH). “If you don’t have the staff to do that, people are going to die.”

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