Over 100 percent capacity, bed extension, care and services may be delayed

Mercy Health St. Mary’s and Mercy Health Muskegon are once again feeling the weight of the pandemic – and worse than ever.

St. Mary’s is over 100% capacity for beds. Currently, the occupancy rate is 103%. That means they take care of more people than ever before and have expanded units to meet current needs.

“We contacted some state regulators to expand our capacity for beds. We have had to utilize that reserve,” said Dr. Andrew Jameson, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Mercy Health St. Mary’s Dr. Andrew Jameson.

Doctors and nurses do not give up, despite knowing that the current situation can be completely prevented.

“This is us moving resources around and trying to take care of the people who are hitting our doors. St. Mary’s is really determined not to end up closing our doors. So we will keep stretching so as far as we can, to serve the community, ”Jameson said.

It is a grim reality for doctors and nurses, especially during the holidays. Visit restrictions that have recently been re-implemented mean that doctors are often the only people there for patients who are critically ill.

“Everyone is super tired and just tired of this. They’re tired of people dying who don’t have to die,” Jameson said.

Almost all the people in the hospital who are dying or really ill are not vaccinated.

Dr. Jameson, who specializes in infectious diseases at Mercy Health, says COVID is mostly spread at home.

Jameson says parents aged 30-50 make up the majority of the intensive care unit. Caring for children who are sick with COVID has probably brought them there, he says. The more virus a person is exposed to over an extended period of time, will increase their likelihood of becoming critically ill. That is why Dr. Jameson says it is important to wear masks, even in your own home, to limit the amount of exposure.

He says most breakthrough cases among those vaccinated occur for the same reason: prolonged exposure in an indoor environment without proper precautions.

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Operations can also be delayed as there is simply not enough space in the hospital.

“There are some procedures that are not necessarily urgent, but that really need to be done in a timely manner. Now they are being put on hold. People have been preparing for things for a long time and they can not get those things done. They can not get them done , because if they are operated on in the hospital, there are no beds to put them in, “Jameson said.

The waiting times in the emergency room will also be longer, given the current patient volume. Dr. Jameson says health professionals are doing their best to combat the disinformation that led them to this position.

“How divided our country is politically has been transferred to a divide medically. People read and believe in things that are just blatantly untrue. It results in them avoiding being vaccinated, avoiding getting the care they need, and it results in delays in getting to the hospital and poor results, ”Jameson said.

READ MORE: Omicron variant: WHO says new strain of COVID-19 is a ‘concern variant’

READ MORE: Who is considered fully vaccinated in Michigan? Health experts emphasize

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