Delta-driven Covid surge puts new pressure on U.S. hospitals

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Some state hospitals in the U.S. again nervous The latest surge in Covid-19 shows that as the infection rate is close to the last infection level during the peak of the pandemic in January, parts of the country have caused heavy casualties.

According to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 78% of hospital beds are currently occupied. For the first time since January 30, the number of beds for Covid-19 patients exceeded 100,000, accounting for 13% of the available capacity.

The latest wave of crises, the country’s top health officials described it as “Unvaccinated epidemics“, has been supported by the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, especially in communities with low vaccination coverage or loose public health restrictions.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States reported 1 million new Covid-19 cases in seven days for the first time since late January on Friday. The infection rate in almost every state is on the rise, and as the daily detection level in the winter reaches about two-thirds of the peak level, more cases may be counted.

Since the end of July, the number of patients hospitalized due to Covid-19 has doubled, straining hospital resources in some states, worryingly echoing the previous wave of pandemics.

According to HHS, in Florida, one of the most severely affected states, 17,370 patients were hospitalized for Covid-19 on August 18, which is the state’s record.

This has exacerbated the backlog of patients seeking treatment delayed due to the pandemic, resulting in 85% of hospital beds and 95% of intensive care beds in Florida currently in use.

Mary Mayhew, chief executive of the Florida Hospital Association, said: “Our statewide supply of beds is as low as I have seen throughout the pandemic.”

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Mayhew said that compared with the time point before the pandemic, young people are more prevalent in hospitalizations for the coronavirus, and “90% or more” are not vaccinated. This puts even more pressure on employees, who have been dealing with the pandemic for the past 18 months and are exhausted physically and mentally.

“Seeing young people in the hospital, the trauma of these experiences, seeing the death of young people, the severity of the disease we see in pregnant women-all these exacerbate the challenges within the hospital,” Mehew said.

At Ochsner Health, which serves southeastern Louisiana, the number of Covid-related hospitalizations in its network fell below 1,000 for the first time in two weeks, but 88% of these patients were not vaccinated.

Robert Hart, Ochsner’s chief medical officer, said: “Although the number of hospitalizations is declining, the conditions of those who stay in the hospital are getting more and more serious.” “They are going to the ICU and they are getting worse and need a ventilator.” Therefore, more hospital resources are needed than ordinary patients.

Hart said Oxner has redeployed more than 800 people in its system to help deal with the surge in cases, and has cancelled more than 5,000 patient operations in recent weeks to free up hospital resources. “We are still working hard to do our daily business, and when I say this, you can imagine this is impossible.”

Louisiana has always been one of the main hotspots for Delta variants in the summer, and it is also one of the regions with the lowest vaccination coverage in the United States.

When it battled the previous surge in March and April 2020, the hospital was able to get nursing staff and resources from other parts of the country that were not overwhelmed by the coronavirus. This is not feasible now because several other regions of the United States are struggling to cope with their own surge.

According to the analysis of HHS data by the Financial Times, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oregon and Washington have set the highest 7-day average for patients currently hospitalized with Covid-19 this week. According to state data, Texas is also expected to set a record of 14,218 hospitalizations since January.

Delta change is reflected in the major strains in the United States. It has a series of effects on states, and these effects may not necessarily be explained by seasonal factors or policy decisions.

The 10 states with the highest proportion of fully vaccinated residents and the lowest 10 states with Covid-19 hospitalization rates per 100,000 people show that the hospitalization rates in well-vaccinated states tend to be lower

In general, states with the lowest vaccination coverage rates reported the highest rates of population adjustment for new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, while states with the best vaccination progress appeared to be more robust, especially in avoiding more adverse consequences of vaccination.

Although several southern states have increased vaccination rates in recent weeks, they still face rising hospitalization and mortality rates, which tend to follow infection trends.

In contrast, the Northeast region, which has a higher vaccination rate, performed better. The per capita hospitalization rates in states such as Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are among the lowest in the country.

According to data from the federal government, one sign of the recent impact on young people is that the population-adjusted rate of new admissions for Covid-19 patients aged 49 or under in the United States is higher than at any time during the pandemic. data. The enrollment rate for people aged 50 and over has also increased, but it is still below the peak level in January.

Mayhew said that in Florida, the rate of increase in hospital admissions has begun to level off. Although she is encouraged by this trend, she added: “We still have a long way to go before we get rid of the current surge.”

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