GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — New video from Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro gives a look inside one of their full COVID-19 units.
The video shows patients and the medical professionals who are taking care of them in the unit.
“We are definitely still full. Every bed on the unit is full. Several patients still waiting in the emergency department at this point. We are hoping we are at the peak,” said Jamie Cargal, the unit’s director of nursing. “As soon as we get a patient discharged we have several waiting for beds still at this point.”
The unit has 36 beds. While some patients are able to walk on their own with little to no oxygen, sicker patients are unable to do much.
“Our sickest patients in the department probably can’t even get out of the bed. They cannot provide any care for themselves. They’re hooked up to telemetry wires monitoring their heart rate, monitoring their oxygen saturation, their O2. Oxygen is just from a couple of liters all the way up to they may be on 15-20 liters of oxygen,” Cargal explained.
She said nurses and doctors are caring for patients as young as 18-30 years old.
“It does seem we will be in this for a few more weeks…hopefully, we are at the peak, so that we don’t continue to see an increase, but I think we are kind of going to be seeing this for a few more weeks or a couple of months going forward,” Cargal said.
Tony Rodriguez, who appeared in the video, wanted to wait until the FDA granted full approval for the COVID-19 vaccine, but he never got around to making an appointment.
“I’ve never felt so weak. It’s been a long time since I’ve needed this kind of help,” Rodriguez said.
Latrell Brown, another patient, had decided he didn’t want to get the vaccine for personal reasons. After his battle with COVID-19, he has changed his mind so he can protect his loved ones.
As of Sept. 10, there have been 1,279,500 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. 3,756 people were hospitalized with the virus, which is about 250 shy of the record set in January.
Doctors with Cone Health, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and Novant Health hospitals in the Triad have spoken out recently and addressed a recent surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
According to the hospitals, more than 90% of the patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, more are younger and many are from communities with low rates of vaccination and resistance to wearing masks.
“Not only are we all dealing with a nursing shortage and other ancillary services shortage…we are also realizing the crux of it is that we know that so much of this is preventable,” said Dr. Cynthia Snider, medical director for infection prevention in Cone Health.
All three health systems are urging people to get vaccinated to help reduce the surge in hospitalizations.