When the patient arrived in Nashville, the swelling in the abdomen stopped the blood flow to the legs. He was immediately sent to the operating room where he died on the table.
“We have a residency program in Guyana, off the coast of South America,” Rasma said. “These are the types that [I see] When I arrive and work in Guyana. We see this for Americans who are coming out of the countryside and need canoeing to get to the hospital. That’s not something we’re used to in the United States. “
The state of Tennessee lost more than 1,200 staffed hospital beds between 2010 and 2020, despite a population of more than half a million, according to the American Hospital Directory and Census Data. Mississippi, where most Covid-19s per capita were killed, lost more than 1,100 beds during that decade. Alabama, which ranks second after Mississippi in the number of deaths per capita, lost more than 800.
Doctors and hospital officials said these beds would be critical to state systems under pandemic stress. Small hospitals often refer their most serious patients to larger hospitals, usually cities, for higher levels of specialized care. But large hospitals also send patients to smaller hospitals when they can receive the same level of care – especially if the beds made are in short supply. Without rural hospitals, urban centers were overcrowded with patients, complicating transfers and making higher levels of care less accessible.
In Florida, where there were fewer closures, Tallahassee Memorial Health was able to alleviate the Covid-19-induced congestion by training small hospital staff to treat cases that typically require a higher level of care. Nearby rural hospitals were found to be the key to treating patients during the pandemic.
“We need each of them,” Lauren Fason-Clark, regional development, public health and telemedicine administrator at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, told Rural Hospitals. “We do not want everyone to come to Tallahassee for health care.”
Fason-Clark said the region would see significant closures by 2020, with Tallahassee hospitals likely to overcrow emergency rooms with beds in corridors and worse outcomes for many patients.
In Mississippi, where officials told drivers to be careful due to an extreme shortage of beds on the road, the closure led to a breach of maintenance standards.
“The whole system is locked,” said Claude Brunson, executive director of the Mississippi State Medical Association. “Without a doubt, there are a few patients who have died because we were admitted and could not establish a very good flow of care throughout the system – because we lost the number of beds we really needed.”
Transfers in central Tennessee have become such a critical issue that hospitals, including Vanderbilt, have set up a transfer coordination center to maximize system efficiency. But not all states or regions have this advantage.
“He calls us all summer from Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia,” Rasma told Vanderbilt. “Often, these are small rural hospitals that have called more than 50 large hospitals in the southeast, tried to take care of their patients and failed.”
There are no open beds
In Brownsville, Andrea Bond Johnson – who runs a local insurance company and ran for the state House – saw directly the boundaries of the hospital system when her parents were ill and awaiting the results of their Covid tests.
His 86-year-old mother was getting weaker and weaker and had to take a break while walking between the bedroom and the kitchen.
“Annie, come here,” cried her mother from her bedroom. “Something is hurting my heart.”
Fearing a heart attack, Johnson called 911. Fortunately, they were living in the city near the EMS facility. Even more important – and not always – was the ambulance.
The Southern Health System is collapsing under Covid-19. Enter Tennessee.
Source link The Southern Health System is collapsing under Covid-19. Enter Tennessee.