Sentara Warns Hospitals Across Hampton Roads Are Reaching Capacity
Dr. Mike Genco, the chief medical officer at Obici Hospital in Suffolk, says the current surge of patients threatening to overwhelm hospitals is a kind of one-two punch.
Hospitals are inundated with COVID-19 patients as the Delta variant spreads, around 90% of whom are unvaccinated, Genco said.
But they’re also juggling an influx of people suffering chronic conditions like diabetes who put off care during the pandemic and are now experiencing acute symptoms.
"There are folks that during 2020, for whatever reason, whether it was, worrying about catching Covid, not being able to get into their physician's office for lots of different reasons, weren't able to get or didn't seek out care the way they would have before covid," Genco said.
Claresa Sanchez is a nurse and patient care supervisor at Virginia Beach General Hospital. She said people are waiting four or five hours in the emergency room and the roughly 250-bed hospital is full to bursting.
All of that is taking a toll on her staff.
"Nurses are tired. (The emergency department) as been getting crushed. They're tired and they are trying to do the absolute best that they can. We've got patients in every little nook and cranny that you can think of," Sanchez told reporters this week.
Sentara hospitals haven’t had to turn seriously ill patients away, but some have had to move to other hospitals where beds are available.