There’s Never Been Enough Protective Gear For Health Care Workers. Now It’s Even Worse.
Months into the pandemic, medical facilities continue to struggle to procure the PPE needed to keep health care personnel safe from virus exposure. In related news, nurses are in too short supply and California recommends weekly testing for workers.
The PPE Crisis Didn’t Go Away: Across The U.S., Grassroots Supply Networks Are Trying To Fill The Void
Christine Garcia was scrambling. As the San Francisco regional director at an agency for children with mental health and behavioral issues, Garcia and her colleagues had seen the latest guidelines from local health agencies mandating the use of masks at facilities like theirs. It seemed like common sense, except for one thing. “There were no masks to be had,” Garcia recalled. (Hwang, 12/1)
COVID-Related Nursing Shortages Hit Hospitals Nationwide
COVID-19–related shortages of personal protective equipment and drugs continue to plague the US healthcare system, but now in the third US pandemic wave, nursing and other staffing shortages are sweeping the country. An Associated Press report found that at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, the nurse-to-patient ratio went from its recommended 1:1 to 1:4, and Andrew Pavia, MD, chief of the pediatric infectious disease division at the University of Utah School of Medicine said it's the same in his state. (McLernon, 11/30)
Los Angeles Times:
California Urges Weekly COVID Testing For Hospital Workers
After months of rallies, protests and pleas by healthcare workers for better coronavirus protection, California has unveiled some of the nation’s strongest COVID-19 testing guidelines for hospital personnel, many of whom are bracing for a post-Thanksgiving virus surge. The guidelines, announced in an all-facilities letter from the California Department of Public Health, stipulate that all workers at general acute-care hospitals — the kind most people go to for short-term care — be tested weekly for the coronavirus. Tests must also be administered to all newly admitted patients. (Smith, 11/30)
Doctors Have Message For Patients: Don’t Skip Non-Urgent Appointments
Health leaders, even as they confront a tidal wave of COVID-19 infections, are urging anxious patients not to defer critical screenings and appointments as they did during and in the weeks after the spring surge of the virus. Across the country, non-urgent surgeries and other medical appointments were halted in March to free up health care workers to treat COVID-19 patients and to conserve precious protective equipment like masks and gowns. But when the surge ebbed in May, droves of patients still shied away from doctors’ offices and outpatient hospital visits for such things as childhood vaccines and cardiac care, fearful of being infected with the virus by other patients or caregivers. (Lazar, 11/30)
The Washington Post:
He Was ‘Doctor Of The Year’ For Helping Thousands Of Women Get Pregnant. But DNA Tests Unraveled A Dark Secret.
After a nearly 13-year career as a detective with the Clackamas County, Ore., Sheriff’s Office, Wendi Babst thought a genealogy kit was the perfect Black Friday gift for herself following her retirement. As she scrolled through her results in March 2018, she discovered she had matched with a large group of first cousins. There was just one problem: Babst didn’t have any cousins, aunts or uncles. Her suspicions grew deeper when she also found matches for numerous half-siblings. Babst had been conceived after her mother, Cathy Holm, was artificially inseminated at a Las Vegas fertility clinic — supposedly with her husband’s sperm. (Bella, 12/1)
Meet The ICU Doctor Who Is Going Viral For Embracing A COVID-19 Patient
Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of staff at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, was on his 252nd consecutive day working during the coronavirus pandemic when he took time to comfort a patient on Thanksgiving Day. Varon, who leads the hospital's coronavirus unit, was dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE) when he stopped to wrap his arms around a man being treated in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU). (Cirone and Griffin, 11/30)