Novant Brunswick emergency room at capacity, patients younger and sicker, physician says

Severe COVID cases are filling area hospitals
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
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BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) - In many respects, the current state of the COVID crisis resembles the beginning of the pandemic. The biggest difference is the patients are a lot younger and a lot sicker.

“The problem with the younger population is that they kind of think they are bullet proof,” says Dr. Ryan Jordanhazy, medical director of the emergency department at Novant Health.

He says most of the people admitted from the ER weren’t convinced they would get COVID.

“I’m seeing people show up in their 30′s and 40′s — sometimes even in their late 20′s, with high fevers to 104 and with an oxygen level in the low 70′s and their blood pressure dangerously low. Within the first 24 to 48 hours they are obviously admitted to the hospital and a lot of them have ended up on life support or even have died from it.”

Dr. Jordanhazy says about 60 to 70 people come in every day to get tested. About half are admitted.

He urges people who have little to no symptoms to get tested at places such as CVS, Walgreens, Urgent Care and Medac so that people with emergencies outside of COVID can be seen.

“Because people are still having other emergencies like heart attacks and strokes and GI bleeding and stuff like that,” he says.

Right now he says the ER is just overwhelmed.

“Like, we’re full upstairs so we have to hold people in our beds in the ER which means we have less beds to bring people in the waiting room back and then EMS has to wait. It’s just this whole state is overrun right now,” Jordanhazy says.

Jordanhazy firmly believes if more people would get vaccinated, the direction of this latest crisis would take a turn.

Even some of his sickest patients understand the call to get people to go get the COVID shot.

“I can’t even tell you how many people I have admitted in a bad way that tell me, ‘hey doc, I wish I had gotten the vaccine.’”

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