AP: Paris doctors warn of catastrophic overload of virus cases

AP: Paris doctors warn of catastrophic overload of virus cases. “Critical care doctors in Paris say surging coronavirus infections could soon overwhelm their ability to care for the sick in the French capital’s hospitals, possibly forcing them to choose which patients they have the resources to save. The sobering warnings were delivered Sunday in newspaper opinions signed by dozens of Paris-region doctors.”

Covid: Brazil experts issue warning as hospitals ‘close to collapse’ (BBC)

BBC: Covid: Brazil experts issue warning as hospitals ‘close to collapse’. “Health systems in most of Brazil’s largest cities are close to collapse because of Covid-19 cases, its leading health institute warns. More than 80% of intensive care unit beds are occupied in the capitals of 25 of Brazil’s 27 states, Fiocruz said. Experts warn that the highly contagious variant in Brazil may have knock-on effects in the region and beyond.”

USA Today: The number of hospitals reporting full ICUs has fallen by nearly 50% since early January

USA Today: The number of hospitals reporting full ICUs has fallen by nearly 50% since early January. “From Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, Washington, to Sibley Memorial Center in Washington, D.C., USA TODAY found 175 hospitals reporting full intensive care units as of Feb. 25. A total of 302 hospitals reported more COVID-19 patients in the ICU compared with the previous week, and 493 had more COVID-19 patients overall. Though still dire, these numbers have fallen drastically since the beginning of the year.”

ProPublica: Dying on the Waitlist

ProPublica: Dying on the Waitlist. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, public health experts had been warning about the need to ‘bend the curve’ — to prevent the number of COVID-19 cases from spiking so hospitals wouldn’t get overwhelmed. But starting in early November, the daily number of COVID-19 hospitalizations surged in Los Angeles County, rising eightfold between then and the wave’s crest, which arrived just after New Year’s Day. Within weeks, overflowing hospitals faced exactly the types of care-rationing decisions experts had feared.”

Texas Tribune: Facing a crush of COVID-19 patients, ICUs are completely full in at least 50 Texas hospitals

Texas Tribune: Facing a crush of COVID-19 patients, ICUs are completely full in at least 50 Texas hospitals. “More than 50 Texas hospitals are currently reporting that their ICUs are 100% full or higher, and a dozen of them have been full for more than half of the 24 weeks since hospitals began reporting that information in July, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

New York Times: How Full Are Hospital I.C.U.s Near You?

New York Times: How Full Are Hospital I.C.U.s Near You?. “Almost one-fifth of U.S. hospitals with intensive care units reported that at least 95 percent of their I.C.U. beds were full in the week ending Dec. 24. Nationwide, 78 percent of intensive care hospital beds were occupied. See how the pandemic has affected recent hospital capacity in the map below, which shows data reported by individual hospitals. Health officials said that the data should not discourage sick people from seeking care.”

Covid-19: Hospitals under pressure as coronavirus cases rise (BBC)

BBC: Covid-19: Hospitals under pressure as coronavirus cases rise. “Hospitals in the south of England say they have seen a ‘real rise in pressure’ as the number of Covid patients needing treatment increases. Saturday was described as one of London Ambulance Service’s busiest in history amid the rapid spread of a new variant. The service and at least two others have urged people to call 999 only if there is a serious emergency.”

WRAL: ICU bed capacity low in Triangle

WRAL: ICU bed capacity low in Triangle. “Across the Triangle, ICU’s are reaching capacity. On average, only 15% of ICU beds were available among the four major hospitals in the Triangle. WakeMed in Cary reported only one bed in the ICU was open in the week ending on Dec. 10. Duke Health in Raleigh had two beds. UNC Rex has the most space, locally, but was still at 82% capacity, according to the data. WakeMed in Raleigh was at 90% capacity with seven beds available.”

‘Small Town, No Hospital’: Covid-19 Is Overwhelming Rural West Texas (New York Times)

New York Times: ‘Small Town, No Hospital’: Covid-19 Is Overwhelming Rural West Texas. “Out past the seesawing oil pumpjacks of Midland and Odessa, where roadrunners flit across two-lane roads and desert shrubs freckle the long, beige horizon, the Big Bend region of Texas is one of the most remote parts of the mainland United States and one of the least equipped to handle an infectious disease outbreak. There is just one hospital for 12,000 square miles and no heart or lung specialists to treat serious cases of Covid-19. But in a sign that the virus is surging nearly everywhere, the counties that include Big Bend ranked among the top 20 in the nation last week for the most new cases per capita.”

KSN: As virus spreads, Kansas hospital runs out of staff

KSN: As virus spreads, Kansas hospital runs out of staff. “The radiology technician slept in an RV in the parking lot of his rural Kansas hospital for more than a week because his co-workers were out sick with COVID-19 and no one else was available to take X-rays. A doctor and physician assistant tested positive on the same day in November, briefly leaving the hospital without anyone who could write prescriptions or oversee patient care. The hospital is full, but diverting patients isn’t an option because surrounding medical centers are overwhelmed.”

Argus Leader: Some COVID-19 patients flown out of state as S.D. hospital ICU capacity dwindles

Argus Leader: Some COVID-19 patients flown out of state as S.D. hospital ICU capacity dwindles. “South Dakota’s largest hospitals are at or above their capacity to care for critically ill COVID-19 patients, forcing some of the sickest patients to be flown out of state to receive care. The strain of a months-long surge in coronavirus cases has reduced hospital capacity to care for those with severe symptoms, making it increasingly uncertain whether the sickest South Dakotans will be able to get treatment in the state, health providers say.”

University of Virginia: University Of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute Launches National Covid-19 Medical Resource Demand Dashboard

University of Virginia: University Of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute Launches National Covid-19 Medical Resource Demand Dashboard. “As COVID-19 cases reach record numbers and are anticipated to escalate with increased holiday travel, the University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute has launched a national COVID-19 Medical Resource Demand Dashboard that can project weekly COVID-19 hospitalization rates and the percentage of occupied hospital beds up to six weeks in advance. This groundbreaking prediction tool provides a clearer picture of anticipated demand, enabling local public health officials—including emergency managers and hospital administrators—to better anticipate where and when action will be needed to mitigate the impact on medical facilities.”

NBC News: Ambulance companies at ‘a breaking point’ after receiving little Covid aid

NBC News: Ambulance companies at ‘a breaking point’ after receiving little Covid aid. “Stefan Hofer’s ambulance company, West Traill EMS, in Mayville, North Dakota, has received only one or two calls that weren’t related to Covid-19 over the past two months. But he said the case count has ballooned by 20 to 30 percent because of the pandemic. At the same time, the company’s expenses have mounted, its revenue has cratered and its workforce is being decimated by the virus. The company — which is private and supported by volunteers, a few employees and four trucks — covers more than 1,500 miles of North Dakota prairie and serves about 10,000 people on the far east side of the state.”

The Atlantic: The U.S. Has Passed the Hospital Breaking Point

The Atlantic: The U.S. Has Passed the Hospital Breaking Point. “The pandemic nightmare scenario—the buckling of hospital and health-care systems nationwide—has arrived. Several lines of evidence are now sending us the same message: Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed, causing them to restrict whom they admit and leading more Americans to die needlessly.”