War-like Scenes in the ER – Day 13, Thoughts About The Pandemic

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER 

Daily thoughts & numbers on the COVID-19 pandemic from a M.D. working in the front lines at the Emergency Department in a hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. 

1cnn

I’m in between night shifts working in the Emergency Department at of one the major emergency hospitals in Stockholm, Sweden. The article * above, published today, also describes the scenes in the ER of our hospital. The same thing that is happening in NY is happening in Stockholm.

It’s not chaos to them, but to an onlooker, it seems like hell.

“They’re so sick you lose them in a heartbeat, they’re that sick,” respiratory therapist Julie Eason told CNN. “They’re talking to you and then a few minutes later you’re putting a tube down their throat and you’re hoping that you can set the ventilator in such a way that it actually helps them.”

This is the truth of what coronavirus is doing to thousands of Americans, and likely will to many thousand more. It has been largely unseen because visitors are not allowed to be in hospitals, and everyone else is staying home.

This has become our reality, unseen by civilians due to visiting restrictions.

The volume of people coming to the ER is lower than before the virus, but because they are all suffering from Covid-19, the patients are sicker and the death rate is high. Nearly 25% of the patients admitted to the hospital with the virus have died.

“It’s not the hospital it’s the nature of the disease,” Dr. Lorenzo Paladino, an emergency medicine physician, told CNN.

There are no broken bones or stomach viruses these days. These doctors are only seeing people who are struggling to breathe because they’ve contracted the virus that’s caused a pandemic across the globe and is now heading to a peak in New York City, according to some scientists.

More and more patients are coming to SUNY Downstate by the day, its doctors said.

“It’s relentless,” Paladino said.

And there is no time for rest. CNN reporters saw a health care worker wrap the body of a deceased patient. Within 30 minutes, the body was gone, the space was sanitized and there lay a critically ill man, coughing, with an oxygen mask on his face.

The amount of really critical patients is overwhelming and me and my colleagues struggle to keep up.

Except we can’t.

It’s overwhelming.

It is truly relentless at this point.

 

And it will only get worse.

Of the nearly 400 people admitted for Covid-19 treatment at the hospital, 90% of them are over the age of 45, and 60% are older than 65, staff said. But it’s not only an affliction for the old. Their youngest patient was a toddler, age 3.

“We have some young people in there in their 20s, not used to seeing this and some had a thousand-mile stare, just crying,” Paladino said of patients seeking treatment for coronavirus in the emergency room.

Many of the patients we are seeing are not old with multiple underlying diseases.

They are middle aged.

And they are in severe respiratory distress.
2cnn

What’s happening in NY is happening in Stockholm is happening in all the major ED’s and ER’s in the world.

We are all in this together.

We will get through this together.

COVID-19 Numbers Sweden 2020-04-06 *

  • 477 deaths nationally
    • 303 of them in Stockholm
  • 7 206 confirmed cases nationally
    DEATHS [SWE]
    6fhm
    New confirmed deaths daily in Sweden. 

    (Number of COVID-19 cases over time in Sweden, updates during mornings at 14:00 so todays numbers are not yet complete until the next day).
    ICU [SWE]
    6fhmi
    New Covid-19 patients Being Treated at the ICU in Sweden. 

    (Number of COVID-19 cases over time in Sweden, updates during mornings at 14:00 so todays numbers are not yet complete until the next day).
    NEW CONFIRMED CASES [SWE]  
    6fhmd
    New confirmed cases daily in Sweden.
    (Number of COVID-19 cases over time in Sweden, updates during mornings at 14:00 so todays numbers are not yet complete until the next day).
    TOTAL CONFIRMED CASES [SWE]  
    6fhmk
    New confirmed cases accumulated over time in Sweden. 
    (Number of COVID-19 cases over time in Sweden, updates during mornings at 14:00 so todays numbers are not yet complete until the next day).
  • Intensive care Sweden*
    • 601 COVID-19 confirmed patients treated in the ICU in total so far
    • 10,2 days from symptoms to ICU
    • 24,3 % women
      6sir
      Total number of recorded of COVID-19 patients needing ICU care each week. From Week 10 it seems to more than triple each week for the first 4 weeks. From week ten: 5 →  24  → 130 → 420 → 730 → (744 this week up until now, however since it’s only tuesday this weeks numbers are yet incomplete)

COVID-19 Numbers Globally (updated today 2020-04-06 at 14:00 CET) *

  • 67 666 confirmed deaths
  • 1 221 214 confirmed cases
  • 5 799 new deaths, daily change: -12,98%

Image: COVID-19 Case Comparison by WHO region *

casecomp

That’s it until tomorrow, keep calm and stay safe!

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