Spokane, WA — Surgery to remove a brain tumor has been postponed. Patients are backed up in the emergency room. Nurses are working on a brutal shift. However, the Call continues at the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington. Can Idaho send another patient across national borders?
Washington is upset with a surge in coronavirus cases. However, in Idaho, 20 miles down Interstate 90 from Spokane, the hospital has already exceeded its limits due to an unchecked virus infection.
In an interview, Dr. Daniel Getz, Chief Medical Officer of Providence Sacred Heart, “I saw them increasing the amount of Covid and seeing growing calls for help from across northern Idaho. ” As he said, the medical helicopter descended with a new delivery.
Some state leaders did not actively confront the virus outsourcing of Covid patients in Idaho when Washington hospitals delayed procedures and suffered from their high number of cases. I think it’s a nasty example of the potential for deepening the crisis. another.
On the Washington side of the border, residents are required to wear masks when gathering indoors, students exposed to Covid face quarantine requirements, and many workers are vaccinated. None of these precautions have been taken on the Aidaho side.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Cathy Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association. “The idea of not issuing a mask mandate immediately if the healthcare system is collapsing is strange. They need to do everything possible.”
Last week, Idaho took extraordinary steps to move hospitals in the northern part of the state to critical standard treatment. This is the threshold at which facilities facing an overwhelming number of cases are allowed to distribute resources and may withhold or delay optimal treatment for some patients.
More than 600 patients are currently hospitalized in Covid-19 in Idaho, about 20 percent more than the previous peak in December. Only 40% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, which is one of the lowest in the United States and 61% in Washington.
The burden on medical facilities is especially noticeable in northern Idaho, where immunization rates are even lower. The area has just hosted the North Idaho State Fair, and the government’s alert areas have not adopted mask orders or other strategies to stop the spread of the virus. At Coutenay Health in Kodarlane, the conference room was remodeled to accommodate an excess of patients.
As the delta strain of coronavirus dominates the country, Washington faces its own challenges, recording hospitalizations, especially in the eastern part of the state where vaccination rates are low. This week, the state also began openly talking about the potential need for critical standard treatment.
However, Washington is in better shape than Idaho, which has a 45% higher hospitalization rate in the population.
“We know that their crisis is becoming our problem, so we certainly need to do more for Idaho government friends to keep their citizens healthy. Yes, “said Jay Inslee, Democratic Governor of Washington last week. “I’m asking the people of Idaho to adopt some security measures, such as masking requirements, as in Washington, which can help both states reduce this horrific pandemic. I can do it.”
Governor Brad Little’s office in Idaho said he couldn’t respond to the interview, but told residents in recent weeks that he had no plans to reinstate virus regulation if the hospital entered a dangerous area. “Do the right thing and get vaccinated.” He issued a statement on Friday to suspend orders that require millions of people to get vaccinated by President Weiden. He said he was looking for legal action.
“President Biden hasn’t been contacted and his mission only adds to the division of our country,” Little said.
In northern Idaho, where the governor promotes personal responsibility and schools do not require masks or contact tracing, medical leaders suggest that the situation is not as dire as doctors. I am indignant at the statement from the members. The hospital manager portrays it.
“That’s very disappointing,” said Dr. Robert Skoggins, medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at Couteney Health, at a press conference Wednesday. “Many mitigations have not been implemented in northern Idaho. They regret not taking this very seriously when caring for these patients in a highly ill ICU. “
Last week, a US Army medical team was deployed to assist hospital health care workers.
Dr. Getz and other doctors in Spokane are not reluctant to take patients from Idaho. The Sacred Heart of Providence has long regarded neighboring states as part of a larger community. If space was available, the facility opened its door. However, the transfer helped push the hospital towards its own capacity limits.
Last week, 29 of the inpatients at the facility came from Idaho. Officials said the number of patients sent to the emergency room from Coutoney Health alone increased by 34 percent in August. The MultiCare Health System, which also has a hospital in Spokane, has seen a significant increase in requests for support from Idaho, but like Providence, capacity issues forced us to reject some requests.
It is not uncommon for hospitals to divert patients during busy times or to transfer patients to facilities that may have specialists who are more suited to their needs. However, due to the current outbreak of viruses in the region, and in much of the country, hospitals are vying for options. In Spokane, Providence called from hospitals far away to Texas and Missouri.
Hospitals are generally obliged under federal law to accept transfer requests if there is space to care for them. In the case of nearby cases, patients may drive to the hospital across state boundaries, where they believe they can receive faster treatment, and the hospital is the people who appear at their doors. I have to take care of. For uninsured patients, the hospital may not provide free care.
Providence Sacred Heart has seen patients stuck in the emergency room longer than usual due to the influx of patients from within the community and across state boundaries, waiting for an open bed. People with beds may not be able to enter the ICU as usual. According to Dr. Getz, the hospital has begun canceling selective treatment and is only proceeding with emergency treatment. He said the procedure for removing brain tumors and treating orthopedic injuries is in the process of being postponed.
“We are delaying the care of people in dire situations,” Dr. Getz said. “It’s a pain for those patients. This has a real impact on these people waiting.”
Care distribution under critical standard treatment will go further. In Idaho, that means that nurses have a large number of patients and are allowed not to check vital signs as usual. If the situation worsens due to inadequate supplies and staff to manage the case load, medical distribution may mean that patients must decide which patients should prioritize oxygen or ventilators. Health officials said.
States across the country are discussing triage plans that can be used when hospitalization reaches crisis levels, but few have actually activated them. Arizona and New Mexico launched crisis plans early in the pandemic, but Idaho appears to be the only state in which these standards are currently in effect.
Medical staff are having a hard time catching up in both states. Some quit and can’t stand …