'We are in the worst crisis of the pandemic': Doctor explains why the surge makes them 'wish for 2020 again'
Although 70% of U.S. adults have been at least partially vaccinated for the COVID-19 coronavirus — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the highly infectious Delta variant is raging in the United States, especially in parts of the country with low vaccination rates. And a Houston-based doctor who appeared on CNN this week told host Kate Bolduan that he is seeing the worst phase yet in the pandemic.
Dr. Hasan Kakli described a tragic story in which a veteran suffering from abdominal pain and what appeared to be "gallstone pancreatitis," Daniel Wilkinson, was unable to find a hospital bed — as hospitals in his area were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and filled to capacity. Kakli noted that some people have been unfairly blaming the Veteran's Administration for Wilkinson's death, but the doctor stressed that the VA isn't the problem — the problem is how overwhelmed hospitals in his area are because of the COVID-19 surge.
Kakli told Bolduan, "The Houston VA did absolutely everything they could…. We are in the worst crisis of the pandemic. We wish for 2020 again. I don't know how else to put it, Kate."
Kakli continued, "Right now, we are struggling. My physician group that I work for, Concord Medical Group, we staff hospitals all over Texas, especially rural hospitals — and we're seeing the same exact thing. Right now at the main hospital I work at over in El Campo, Texas, we have 24 patients, 20 on the floor, 40 ICU. One of them does not have COVID. I just called this morning to get that update."
The Houston-based doctor went on to tell Bolduan that emergency doctors are having to make painfully tough decisions.
"We had to downgrade two patients out of the ICU who are still ICU-sick, because there were two other patients who were sicker and needed those beds more," Kakli told Bolduan. "We're making decisions that we've never had to make before."
Watch the video below:
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