Right now, 78 percent of hospital beds across the state are full, with 36 percent of ICU beds being occupied by coronavirus patients.
Healthcare workers say they’re overwhelmed, and they want to prevent the number of cases from spiraling out of control.
A doctor with Yale New Haven Hospital says they’re so busy that some patients are waiting up to 24 hours for hospital beds. They say they aren’t at capacity yet, but they’re feeling the stress of the second wave.
“We’re not even at the depth of what we think will happen this winter, and we’re already forced to make choices in terms of deciding who is coming to the ICU,” said Dr. Elaine Fajardo.
It’s the second round of a nightmare healthcare workers thought they conquered months ago. This time, doctors with Yale New Haven Hospital say it’s even more heartbreaking.
“What I think I’ve seen now that I haven’t seen before is how overwhelmed people feel because of the hours because of the nature of the responsibility because it’s back again,” said Dr. Mark Siegel.
On Friday, State Senator Saud Anwar hosted a Facebook Live with three physicians from Yale New Haven Hospital. The staff gave vivid accounts of what it’s like behind closed doors, battling COVID-19 face to face.
“The ICUs are closed. People are not seeing the misery and the pain inside, so they have no idea about it,” Anwar said.
The physicians say it’s more than the horror of battling the cruel disease. They say the long hours, residual trauma, and isolation for both staff and COVID-19 patients is also taking a mental toll.
“I Facetimed her from my cell phone. Her daughter was singing to her and saying prayers and sharing stories and my hand was just trembling because I was just crying, crying bearing witness to what was happening,” said Dr. Thejal Srikumar.
With beds filling up again, the physicians also discuss space having an impact on the type of care patients are receiving.
“Patients are waiting hours on the floors unable to get the level of care that they need in the setting that they need because of this,” Dr. Srikumar said.
The physicians say they want people to continue to protect themselves by wearing masks, social distancing, and only being with people in your immediate household, but they say they also need assistance from the local and federal government before this wave gets worse.
“We are hanging in there, but we want to do whatever we can, but we want to do things before it gets out of control. We aren’t there, but that’s what we’re trying to do,” Dr. Siegel said.
The doctors say some healthcare workers have been working months on end without any days off. It’s also not just them, it’s staff members like custodians and cafeteria workers who are on the frontlines too.