I wrote “From Frontline “Heros” to the Last line of Defense” one year ago today, on 11/16/2020.
Prior to SAFE and EFFECTIVE #COVID19vaccines, recently FDA EUA APPROVED for everyone ages 5y/o & older, being widely & readily available.
I honestly thought, as did many of my physician colleagues, that we’d be in a very different place right now.
We’ve been on the frontlines fighting this pandemic for the past 20+ months.
We have SAFE and EFFECTIVE VACCINES at our disposal. If EVERY SINGLE ELIGIBLE Minnesotan did their part & were to be fully vaccinated, we’d be in a very different place – with increasing herd immunity & less chance for persistent & continued SARS-CoV-2 viral spread.
We are running on empty.
Our resources are stretched to the limits, we’re short-staffed, & we‘re exhausted. Physicians, nurses, & support staff are fleeing in droves, retiring early, cutting back hours or quitting all together. And the effect is devastating.
Patients are suffering. Treatments are delayed. Morbidity and mortality are increasing.
There are no readily available hospital or ICU beds throughout the state.
Physicians are desperately reaching out via FaceBook posts in last ditch efforts to find open ICU/hospital beds in which to transfer patients needing higher acuity levels of care.
I can personally attest to the direness & brokenness of our current healthcare system.
This past weekend I was admitted to a local hospital due to unforeseen/unexpected circumstances. As a “physician patient” I am well aware of what to expect & what is considered acceptable standard of care.
These standards were NOT met.
Luckily, I have the knowledge & wherewithal to advocate appropriately on my behalf in order to obtain needed lifesaving treatments.
I personally witnessed physicians & nurses struggling to meet the needs of patients; exhausted, overworked, strapped for resources, & with too high a patient a census to adequately be able to give the needed time & attention to individual patients. Trying their best, wanting to help, while at the same time lacking in urgency; compassion worn thin.
Multiple stops/quality control check points/measures to be met/gone through before needed urgent medication could be given. Delays due to the EHR, orders difficult to find, access, or incorrectly entered, forgotten, or lost somewhere in cyberspace.
Constant shift changes, requiring pages to the on call physician, delayed responses, & the need for the rapid response team to be called – who then STILL needed to wait for pharmacy “approval” before administering urgently needed life saving medication treatment.
I am thankful, grateful, & lucky I am a physician able to speak up & advocate for myself, that I’m well connected to other physicians willing to help, lend support, & advocate on my behalf, & that I’m well trained & educated to know exactly what was happening & the emergent treatment needed.
I very well could have ended up intubated, in the ICU, or worse.
I share all of this to highlight the extreme, dire situation in which we are currently living.
I am personally asking & imploring every Minnesotan to:
🙏 PLEASE HELP US HELP YOU.
💉 PLEASE GET VACCINATED.
😷 PLEASE WEAR A MASK.
🏡 PLEASE STAY HOME WHEN ILL, GET TESTED & QUARANTINE APPROPRIATELY.
🤔 PLEASE THINK TWICE BEFORE GOING to that next get together, gathering, or game. & before traveling.
WE NEED EVERY SINGLE MINNESOTAN TO HEAR & HEED OUR CRIES.
Please. We need your help to end this pandemic. 🙏
To find & schedule a COVID19 VACCINE near you, please visit: Vaccines.gov.