EDITORIAL: Misleading COVID Information Regarding Colorado Hospitals?


But now the [ambulance] The team is called upon to move patients more frequently and over greater distances, as hospital beds in the relatively nearby towns of Montrose and Grand Junction are filled with covid-19 patients. The team routinely drive patients to Denver, which is about three hours and 40 minutes from Gunnison …

– from an article by the journalist By Helen Santoro, “As hospitals fill up, paramedics spend more time moving patients, less in emergency”, on Kaiser Health News (KHN), December 17, 2021.

You can’t always believe what you read in the news.

We understand that everyone exaggerates from time to time. It’s human nature to try to sell our perspective by making a situation look worse (or better) than the facts suggest. An exaggeration can be outrageous and obvious … but often it is subtle and barely noticeable.

One of those subtle exaggerations may have surfaced in Ms. Santoro’s recent article in the Kaiser Health News, when she said hospital beds in Grand Junction and Montrose, Colo. Are “full of patients. covid-19 ”.

If indeed the hospital beds in Grand Junction and Montrose are “filled with covid-19 patients” – that puts them in a completely different category from the rest of Colorado, where, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE ), only 16% of hospital beds in the state are occupied by confirmed or “suspected” COVID patients. (Data as of Saturday, December 18.)

A CBS News report states that 25% of hospitalized “COVID patients” are actually treated for a different disease, but are found to be positive for COVID.

Colorado hospital beds could indeed be “full” … but not necessarily with COVID cases. The “number of approved beds” is not the whole story either.

Ms. Santoro’s article on KHN was not the only recent story that may contain potentially misleading information about the COVID crisis in Colorado. Here is an excerpt from another KHN article by Colorado Public Radio reporter John Daley posted on December 15:

Burch has battled chronic osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and has had two major bowel surgeries. A specialist he was consulting left his practice last year. Another would not accept his assurance. Then, on November 1, he started to experience severe stomach pain.

“When we talk about terrible problems, I cannot leave the house,” he said. He hasn’t eaten anything substantial in three weeks, he added.

Burch had to wait that long to be seen by a primary care doctor. He said the doctor told him, “If things were different I would tell you to go to the hospital and get diagnosed, do some tests and see what’s going on with you. But he said, “As of this day, the Delta County Hospital is clearly full. There are no beds available.

The covid ‘delta’ variant has overwhelmed the county of the same name in Colorado. Hospitals on the West Slope have been slammed for weeks, and the situation statewide is just as grim. Since Monday, the state coronavirus website reported 1,294 hospitalized patients with covid-19. Half of the state’s hospitals said they expected a staff shortage in mid-December; more than a third of them anticipated at the same time a shortage of beds in their intensive care units.

As the increase in the number of cases in November continues a downward trend in Colorado, we read this claim that 1,294 patients are “hospitalized with covid-19.” What we didn’t read in Mr. Daley’s article is that Colorado has about 12,558 approved hospital beds.

Ten times more beds than COVID patients.

But we also hear, from Mr. Daly, talk about “a lack of personnel in mid-December …”

It turns out that in Colorado and elsewhere, the “number of available beds” has less to do with the actual “number of approved beds” than with the “shortage of nurses needed to care for the people in those beds.”

A Article by reporter Shaun Boyd, published by CBS News last month, includes a story about Stevie Silvers, the head nurse of the surgical unit at UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital, who was laid off from her job. According to the story, Ms Silvers – who was named Nurse of the Year amid the COVID-19 pandemic – had filed a religious exemption to the COVID vaccine … so her employer asked her to take a COVID test every 72 hours.

She had a bad reaction to the nasal exchange tests and had requested a saliva test instead. Rather than respond to her request, the hospital fired her. Mr. Boyd’s article quotes Ms. Silvers:

“In the height of such a deadly disease and pandemic, when it’s so important to have everyone on deck, how can they consider someone disposable right now?”

UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital, where Silvers was the nurse in charge of the surgical unit, suffers from such a severe staff shortage that federal health workers have been called in.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says an increase in COVID cases is straining hospitals. Silvers says the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“We have a population that includes our COVID patients that we wouldn’t have had two years ago, but that doesn’t say why our hospitals are full the way they are.”

Mr. Boyd also quotes Colleen Casper, director of the Colorado Nurses Association:

“We have a very big gap between the accuracy of what is reported and the decisions that are made. I get calls every day from tearful nurses, describing what the patients are going through, and they are powerless to do anything because there just aren’t enough of them.

Nurse Stevie Silvers agrees with this analysis of Colorado hospital policies.

… “It’s not a problem having the beds, it’s a problem not having the staff and being willing to force the staff good enough and ready to work during a pandemic.” “

Bill hudson

Bill hudson

Bill Hudson began to share his opinions in the Pagosa’s daily message in 2004 and can’t seem to break the habit. He claims that in Pagosa Springs opinions are like vans: everyone has one.

About John A. Provost

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