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COVID-19 overwhelming LA hospitals


Dr. Mher Onanyan tends to a COVID-19 patient at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles. Associated Press/Photo by Jae C. Hong (file)

COVID-19 overwhelming LA hospitals

Ambulances should stop taking patients to hospitals if they have virtually no chance of surviving, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services said last week. That includes people whose heart or breathing has stopped if they cannot be resuscitated. Ambulance crews are also supposed to administer less oxygen to help with strained supplies during the pandemic.

How bad are things in California? More than 7,700 patients are in the hospital with the coronavirus in Los Angeles County. On Monday, there were a total of about 25 open ICU beds spread across 70 reporting hospitals in the county, compared to more than 250 open beds in early April. The state’s COVID-19 death toll since the pandemic started stands at 26,500, and most of the state is under a stay-at-home order. About 1 percent of California’s 40 million residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

Dig deeper: Listen to Dr. Charles Horton answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines on The World and Everything In It podcast.


Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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Tim Miller

Dr. Read,

Thanks for sharing your expertise here. One of the things I love about the World comment section is the respect and intelligence of the commenters.

I know in many states, hospitals have added to their ICU capacity, and the new, increased capacity is also nearly full. So, percentages alone might not be apples to apples.

Also, I assume November-February beds are usually full because of the flu, but I have heard this is an incredibly light flu season, due to so much masking and distancing.

I'd be curious to hear your reactions to these two points, if you think they're relevant.

Thanks much!

My Two Cents

I hope your brother is doing better. Those are good questions, and I would not live in California for any amount of money. Locally, the Remdesevir didn't work with the intended success, so they switched to something else they nicknamed bam bam. I haven't heard an official update from our local authorities, but our positive rate is up, hospitalizations have doubled, and deaths have increased, so I don't think their current treatment is any better. 

Nanamiro

My brother got Covid about a month ago in California. He could not get seen by anyone. Doctor's office wouldn't see him for two weeks. Urgent care wouldn't go near him, even with a mask! It sounds like, unless the disease has progressed to a dangerous point, the medical community won't intervene. Why? After almost nine months, we have no early treatments to help avoid hospitalizations? This is bizarre. We can approve an ineffective drug like Remdesevir, come up with two vaccines, but no effective treatments? I wish WORLD would investigate HCQ and Ivermectin. I fear many thousands have died unnecessarily.

And looks like obsessing on masks and lockdowns isn't working all that well.