Americans dying of Covid while waiting for full hospitals to admit them

Americans dying of Covid while waiting for full hospitals to admit them
Americans dying of Covid while waiting for full hospitals to admit them
Americans are dying of Covid-19 as full hospitals turn them away to farther away facilities (Pictures: Getty Images)

Americans are dying of the coronavirus as hospitals close to their homes hit capacity and turn patients away, often referring them to facilities hundreds of miles away.

Some of the patients have died waiting for hospital beds, according to Vox.

Hospitals in the southern states, where vaccination rates are below the national average, report that more patients need intensive care unit beds than are available, according to The New York Times on Tuesday.

Kentucky, Tennessee, Wyoming, West Virginia and Alaska stand as the states with the most confirmed Covid-19 cases per capita, according to The Times. These states have set new records in their hospitalization numbers or are coming close to matching their highs from the winter.

The demographics of coronavirus patients at hospitals has shifted. People over age 65 – who represented more than half of hospitalized patients in December and January – now make up roughly one-third of hospitalizations nationwide. They are an age group that has a far higher vaccination rate than young Americans.

Meanwhile, pediatric hospitals are recording more coronavirus patients than ever. Vaccines are currently not authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children under age 12.

Still, the number of people getting severe cases of the coronavirus that require hospital care is near the all-time high.

In Texas, more than 90% of intensive care unit beds are being used, and according to Covid Act Now. Idaho comes close, with 88% of intensive care unit beds occupied.

A 73-year-old Alabama man who was turned away from more than 40 hospitals died of a cardiac emergency, the Washington Post reported on Monday. The closest hospital that could admit him was in Mississippi, 200 miles away.

The hospitalization numbers and stories, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, show that the US’s health system is not equipped to handle a pandemic.

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Author: Jessica Kwong