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COVID-19 comeback putting pressure on Kansas hospitals

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 11:10 PM CDT
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(KWCH) - Nurses on the frontlines in Kansas City are now having flashbacks to last November at the peak of the pandemic.

Eight months later, the vaccine is available, but a majority of the population is unvaccinated and the unvaccinated are now filling up hospitals.

“In May and June, I was like ‘OK, this feels like maybe we are getting back to a sense of normalcy.’ And then July, this month we’re like, ‘oh, this feels way too familiar. And not in a good way,’” said Rachel Johnson, an ICU RN at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Some Kansas City hospitals are now turning away patients because of the recent surge, and doctors in Wichita fear that is exactly where the city could be heading next.

“My patients with coronavirus, many of them are intubated, many of them are deeply sedated, many of them are getting a significant amount of medicine to control their muscles and paralyze them. These are patients who cannot voice their regret because they are too sick to talk or be conscious,” said Dr. Andrew Schlachter, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Saint Luke Hospital.

Right now, more than 70 patients are admitted in Sedgwick County hospitals and almost all patients are unvaccinated.

Dr. Gregory Poland with the Mayo Clinic said people who have rejected the vaccine or are hesitant to get it, are “basically playing Russian roulette with their lives and the lives of others.”

“People who are unvaccinated now enter the most dangerous phase of this pandemic. We have a very infectious variant, the delta variant, circulating the U.S. Because of the infectiousness with this virus, people who are unvaccinated are in danger. This virus will search them out, and will find them, as we are seeing. We are watching this horror movie replay for the 4th time in the United States,” said Dr. Poland.

In Sedgwick County, hospitals are seeing the highest number of COVID patients right now since last February. Dr. Tom Moore, who treats COVID patients in Sedgwick County says hospitals are now drowning in patients again and need the public to get vaccinated. So, we can finally return to normal.

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