Ninety percent of Mount Sinai Hospital’s patients are being treated for COVID-19, explained Dr. Luiza Petre, a cardiologist and assistant clinical professor of cardiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She joined Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight to discuss the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on hospitals in New York City with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Ed Martin.
“We are definitely almost at full capacity,” said Petre of New York City hospitals. “Mount Sinai hospital … converted the cafeteria and the lobby [with] hospital beds. There is no floor except one left for other non-COVID cases. The whole hospital is almost 90 percent COVID patients. We still have room, but if you look at the rate of growth of new cases, that’s alarming. We’re looking at predictions. No prediction model is perfect, but they’re very concerning, because we are going to reach a peak in two to three weeks.”
The Javits Center, a convention center in Manhattan, has been converted into a treatment center.
Petre stated, “Right now they are even converting the Javits Center. Initially, it was supposed to be just for non-COVID patients. Now, they realize they’ll be so overwhelmed. They’re converting it to a COVID center, as well. So yes, we are — I would say — at 80-percent capacity at this time. I do receive emails [for] the numbers from the hospital on a daily basis.”
“I would say that, of the COVID patients, around 15 percent are becoming critically ill and require hospitalization,” estimated Petre, “and I would say five percent of those require ICU. I think right now — in my site, Mount Sinai — we have around 160 patients on a ventilation system on the main institution.”
Petre described COVID-19 as a “lonely disease” given its contagiousness.
“I’ve seen really devastating cases,” shared Petre. “I’ve seen patients with no medical history in their fifties who basically did not make it. It’s unpredictable. Indeed, those with comorbidities have a worse outcome. We know that it’s a truth in medicine. If you have more chronic medical conditions, you are less likely to go through such a stress and recover from it.”
Petre continued, “But the situation is quite dire. It’s really sad. I have no words to describe what’s happening when I go there. People are dying alone. It’s a very lonely disease. Their families are not allowed to visit them. It’s really, really heartbreaking.”
Physicians of all backgrounds are being placed on standby given the coronavirus’s spread, noted Petre.
“I think the priority for ICU care was initially assigned to those with an ICU background, but right now, all of us are on standby,” Petre stated. “Right now, we are covering regular floors, but as cardiologists we do have ICU training. So we might be and we are expecting to be involved more in intensive care.”
City-wide stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders have reduced non-coronavirus healthcare demand in New York City, observed Petre.
“Believe it or not, what we have noticed across New York is that [with] people staying at home, we don’t see as many heart attacks, we don’t see many injuries, and the hospital need actually went down significantly. We have much less demand for health care from non-COVID patients. So I would say we’ve seen a dramatic decrease of regular healthcare needs.”
“The hospitals are 90 percent COVID patients,” repeated Petre.
Petre remarked, “The Comfort ship — the Navy ship that came to New York — they have a 1,000-bed capacity, and they decided to keep that ship just for non-COVID patients to divert patients who are not infected, to keep them separate, and they have only 20 patients because there’s no need. [Since] everyone is staying at home, there are no injuries. There are no emergencies, so to speak, no accidents.”
Mansour asked if social distancing and stay-at-home directives are slowing the rate of growth in coronavirus infections.
Petre replied, “If you look at a number of cases and the curve right now, it’s still steep, it’s sharp and that’s because the numbers are lagging. It’s simple math if you look at the incubation period, which is two weeks on average. You’re seeing right now people that got infected two weeks ago. So if you want to look at the results of social distancing, we are already seeing a slowdown in the number of hospital admissions.”
Petre went on, “A week ago, we would have a doubling of hospital admissions every two days. Now, it’s almost four or five days. So we’re seeing some decrease in people who are seeking medical attention in hospital settings.” Social distancing is “flattening the curve,” she added.
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