LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Health experts are again sounding the alarm over the seriousness of coronavirus, especially with the rising cases and decreasing intensive care unit beds in the Southland.
One doctor from USC Verdugo Hills Hospital is speaking out after their ICU bed capacity fell to nearly 0%.
“It’s really plain and simple to say this it’s extremely bad. There’s no questioning how bad it is anymore. It’s very bad,” said Dr. Armand Dorian, USC Verdugo Hills Chief Medical Officer.
At USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, doctors say they are down to the last ICU bed.
“Every day we are struggling hour by hour to make sure we can move patients in out of the hospital because there is a flood of patients coming in,” Dr. Dorian said.
A document circulated among doctors in L.A. County and obtained by the Los Angeles Times shows how some facilities are planning to ration care in this crisis.
It says in part:
“Instead of trying everything to save a patient, their goal during a crisis is to save as many patients as possible, meaning those less likely to survive will not receive the same level of care they would have otherwise.”
Like many hospitals in the county, USC Verdugo Hills has plans to deal with the surge, including converting some units into ICU beds and leaning on its affiliate hospitals, but they remind us that they’re also dealing with life-threatening non-coronavirus illnesses.
“They’re dealing with still having to manage really critically ill patients during this pandemic. So there’s a dance that is happening here that is ultra-complicated and ultra unimportant for us to make sure we continue to save lives,” Dr. Dorian said.
Health experts say the crisis they are facing is not only about ICU beds, but the critical staffing needed for them, and they are struggling to provide services as their front line workers are also falling ill.