Death rates and complications from illnesses significantly rise when hospitals are overcrowded. We have a much better understanding of this due to the COVID-19 pandemic that swept through the country in the past two years. Many non-COVID patients have been unable to get the necessary treatment. And many of these patients have died.
Below are a few underlying reasons why.
Too many patients; not enough nurses
The number of patients with COVID-related illnesses who have needed emergency care or in-patient hospital care have skyrocketed. Sadly, there isn’t enough nurses to care for them in an appropriate ratio. This could be because nurses themselves are contracting COVID and are unable to work, they need to be off of work to care for a loved one with COVID or because of high resignations from stressful job conditions.
Delayed or cancelled medical procedures
Some individuals with high-mortality conditions, such as heart and respiratory failure, have not been able to schedule surgical procedures or preventative care consults due to COVID. As a result, many have died due to complications stemming from their underlying condition.
Overworked, stressed, scared – you name it – nurses and other healthcare workers have felt the pressure amid the spike in COVID patients who have needed care. As a result, mistakes have happened and families have tragically lost loved ones.
The decline in COVID cases in recent months provides hope that hospitals will soon be able to properly manage patients and provide adequate care to everyone who needs medical treatment, but it’s unknown given the unforeseeable nature of future variants.