LI hospitals seeing uptick in seriously ill patients, but not with COVID-19
Hospitals in the region are concerned that sicker patients and an expected increase in COVID-19 and flu cases as the weather gets colder could strain the health care system, said Wendy Darwell, president and CEO of Hauppauge-based Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State.
That could lead to longer waits for inpatient rooms, emergency room care, and transfers among hospitals, Darwell said.
“Our patients now are sicker than our patients used to be,” said Dr. Richard Schwarz, medical director of Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, which in the past two months has regularly been over capacity.
Hospitals statewide are seeing a higher-than-usual number of patients in inpatient beds and in emergency rooms, said Bea Grause, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, which represents nonprofit hospitals and health care organizations. There’s no data to document how much of the increase is due to people who put off care, but Grause said in an email that it is “reasonable to connect pandemic-related delays to at least some of the current influx.”
Studies from the early months of the pandemic, when fear of the coronavirus and avoidance of medical care was highest, showed the apparent impact of people forgoing care.
Read more in this story by Newsday’s David Olson about the trend at local hospitals.
Plus: More than 70% of Long Islanders are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state statistics released Sunday.
The chart below is a glimpse of vaccination rates broken down by community. Search that chart and view a map of new cases and other charts on our data page.
See more coronavirus headlines below.