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After An Overnight Arrest, The Parents Of The Accused Oxford High Shooter Were Arraigned.

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Federal military assistance arrived Friday in two Michigan hospitals to assist frontline health care workers who are being overwhelmed by a near-record number of COVID-19 patients, as the state experiences its highest daily case count since the pandemic began.”Today is our first day,” said Lt. Colonel Stephen Duryea, commanding officer of the Department of Defense Medical Response team that arrived at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn on Friday.

The team, which consists of 14 critical care nurses, four doctors, three respiratory therapists, and a three-person “command and control team,” will be working with patients for 30 days.”Our team previously completed this mission in Mississippi for 60 days,” Duryea said at a press conference with hospital officials on Friday. “So we have a lot of experience and lessons learned that we hope to apply here in Michigan.

“Across the state, a separate team of 20 military doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists arrived at Spectrum Health hospital in Grand Rapids, where the number of COVID-19 patients is now significantly higher than at any other point in the pandemic’s history. (Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office announced Thursday that a third team has been approved for Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw and will arrive in December.)

“I got to meet the team this morning,” said Spectrum Health West Michigan president Dr. Darryl Elmouchi.

“I had goosebumps meeting them; they were incredible.”Elmouchi and other hospital officials say the military’s medical assistance is desperately needed as the number of new patients infected with the virus continues to rise across the state.

Hospitals in Grand Rapids, in particular, are already at capacity, with exhausted and overburdened staff. Spectrum Health’s Intensive Care Units, according to Elmouchi, are at 140 percent of their previous capacity for treating patients.

As the number of sick people has increased, the hospital has placed beds throughout the hospital, including areas that were previously unsuitable for medical care.

Moreover, despite being West Michigan’s largest health system, Spectrum has had to postpone approximately 1,100 surgeries since the current surge began. They’ve turned down 700 transfer requests from other hospitals and medical centres that can’t provide higher levels of care in the last month.

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Staff at other hospitals in and around Grand Rapids are also under stress. According to Matt Biersack, president of Mercy Health’s St. Mary’s hospital in Grand Rapids, the hospital is 98 percent full and the ICUs are 100 percent full. The hospital at the University of Michigan Health – West, which has a hospital in Wyoming, just south of Grand Rapids, has been operating at 90% capacity for the past three months.

“It’s difficult,” says Peter Hahn, the hospital’s president, and CEO. “And for a variety of reasons, this round is unquestionably the most difficult.”Leaders at Henry Ford Health System in southeast Michigan say they are “very close” to requesting federal assistance as well.”If these numbers [of COVID patients] continue to rise by 10% or 20% every couple of weeks, as we’re seeing, we’ll be looking for alternative help very soon,” says Bob Riney, Henry Ford’s president and chief operating officer. But, he warns, there is no silver bullet here.”

In many ways, the federal support is offering 22 FTEs [full-time employees] per hospital from the Department of Defense,” he explained. “Which is helpful, but it’s a small number in comparison to the overall staffing challenges we’re facing.”Healthcare workers are exhausted and frustrated.

Nearly two years and four surges into the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital system leaders say the toll on staff and patients is palpable.”You can tell what’s going on from the eyes, even if you’re wearing a mask,” Hahn says. “There’s a lot of stress and heartache, but there’s also a lot of courage.

“”I’ll just say the theme is tears,” Dr. Elmouchi says of his most recent visit to an ICU team, which he says was established in an area of the hospital that had not previously been dedicated to intensive care. Tears, he says, from exhausted team members after 20 months of nonstop pandemic care. And tears from family members saying their final farewell to a loved one.”This happens every day, over and over in all of our hospitals.” It is not a pleasant sight. It is not something that any of us would wish on anyone.

“As more hospitals fill up and even non-COVID patients have to wait for care, hospital leaders say a new crisis is on the horizon. More caregivers are being assaulted by the patients they are attempting to assist. “It feels unrelenting,” Mercy Health St. Mary’s Dr. Matt Biersack says. “As time spent in the emergency department waiting increases, care becomes more strained, and we wait longer for care… there tends to be even more hostility and impatience.”

It isn’t just an issue at one hospital. Leaders at Beaumont, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, and the University of Michigan Health-West say it affects all of their employees. Elmouchi, of Spectrum Health, says there has been a “amazing increase” in assaults on health care workers. “Every day at lunch, we have a report about workplace violence issues, and every day we hear about workplace violence,” Elmouchi says.

“Nurses are being hit, scratched, spit on, and yelled at.” Doctors are all the same.”According to leaders, increased patient aggression is one of many reasons healthcare workers are leaving the profession, putting an even greater strain on those who remain and potentially contributing to staff shortages in the future.”Check in with a health care worker you know,” Biersack suggests. “Tell them you believe in them. Thank them for all of their hard work. Wear a mask when you’re out in public to show that you care.”A foreseeable surgeAbove all, hospital leaders agreed, there is one thing people in the community can do to help: get vaccinated.

They claim that, unlike previous outbreaks, this one could have been avoided if more people had gotten vaccinated.

They’re now pleading with anyone who is still hesitant to take the test. “One of the reasons people should care about this, even if they’re not personally concerned about COVID, is that it could have an impact on any other aspect of your health.” And then there are the caregivers… people are really struggling. Day after day, this is unnecessary death.”Indeed, the vast majority of COVID hospitalised patients are not immunised.

Since January, 87 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 86 percent of COVID deaths in Michigan have occurred among people who have not been fully vaccinated.Despite this, hospitals are seeing numbers that are close to, if not higher than, the highs of previous surges, which occurred before vaccines were widely available. According to Dr. Adnan Munkarah, Henry Ford currently has 420 COVID patients admitted and another 30 in the emergency departments waiting for beds.”

When we compare it to a year ago, December 4th, 2020, we had 499 patients at the time.” So, despite the fact that vaccines are now available, we are getting very close to the numbers from a year ago. Unfortunately, we are not seeing the rate of vaccination that we would like to see in the community. However, we do have a solution that can assist us.”According to state data, approximately 54 percent of Michiganders are fully vaccinated, and approximately 1.5 million people have received booster doses.

Riney described a conversation she had this week with the nurse manager of a completely full ICU at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital.

“She stated, ‘I have a stellar team that is doing exceptional work, but I have 21 beds, 21 patients in my ICU who are all COVID positive and very ill, and not a single one of those patients is vaccinated.’ ‘It’s heartbreaking for me to tell my staff: please continue to give up your holidays,’ she said. Please continue to work six consecutive shifts. Please continue to stress yourself beyond your wildest dreams. When it appears that the community is not willing to meet us halfway in this fight.'”


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