With more than 38,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases- and with more than 130 people a day dying from the virus (146 reported today), Massachusetts is now into its expected surge that Gov. Baker had been warning us about. Even the White House is paying attention to us now.
Dr. Robin Schoenthaler, an oncologist at Mass. General - which now has the state's largest census of Covid-19 patients in general and in the ICU in particular - reported yesterday:
The hospitals are brimming over with COVID patients. Seven times as many critically ill patients are at MGH as usual, 349 COVID-positive patients there right now. The hospitals have stopped all but the most critical of surgeries - unless you are an abject emergency there are almost no operations (MGH is using 7 of their 70 ORs), no colonoscopies, no mammograms, no hip replacements - it's all-Covid-all-the-time.
All the hospitals have increased their number of ICU beds, some hugely. On March 13, MGH had 18 COVID ICU beds; now they have 206.
She adds the importance of everybody writing down key contact info and of filling out a health-care proxy form that lets doctors know who they can ask if you're unconscious and unable to make medical decisions:
This exhausted ER doctor wrote: "Bring multiple cards with your family’s name/number…especially for those who are demented, don’t speak English, are in terrible respiratory distress, etc. We do our best to communicate with families….. but please if you have a meaningful relationship with someone like this, please try to have this hard conversation before I have to have it, shouted under an N-95 mask, with an interpreter on an iPad they can’t hear, while they are gasping for breath.“
Nuff said. PLEASE talk to your family members about what you and they would want done if you or they were to get super sick and need a ventilator. TALK TO YOUR PEOPLE.