Lacie Gooch, a nurse from Nebraska, is among the latest healthcare workers to share horrific details of the pandemic response as novel Coronavirus cases surge and hospitals fill with COVID-19 patients.
The US has recorded more than 11 million COVID-19 cases and over 248,000 deaths as of Wednesday, November 18. While experts created a model showing that if the situation continues, there could be over 400,000 deaths by early 2021. Amid these reports, frontline health workers are speaking out the truth.
Gooch made a video recently in which she can be heard saying, "I just got off my third 12-hour shift this week...and I'm exhausted. I have seen so many emergent intubations. I've seen people more sick than I've ever seen in my life. They just drop so fast."
'Please Take It Seriously'
Emergent intubation is an emergency process that is done to establish an airway for those who are unable to breathe properly. Since the novel Coronavirus is highly infectious, Gooch said there can sometimes be delays to treat a patient while the medical staff needs to make sure that they have taken proper precautions—wearing masks and PPE.
She explained:"What's sad is what I would normally do... is just run in and start whatever life-saving measures they need, but with COVID-19, I can't do that". There are so many protections which she has to take to protect herself and other patients from the virus. "It takes me a minute to get in there but some of these things that the patients need are emergent," Gooch said in the video.
The COVID-19 ICU nurse also said that "I need to be taking care of them right now and they're not getting that. They're not getting the care they deserve." She continued while saying that the hospital was understaffed and nurses were run off their feet. She also noted that "we have, I think, 10 COVID units and one of those is just a place for people to go and pass away, unfortunately."
At the end of the video, she also urged people to "take it [COVID-19] seriously", wear a mask and she concluded by saying that "I hope I won't see you here."
Shared by Nebraska Medicine on Twitter, the video had been watched more than 400,000 times and also responded to one tweet saying that "Allan, numbers don't tell the story. Our COVID hospitalizations are increasing at such a pace that it WILL overwhelm the health care system if local behavior doesn't change. Do you think this nurse is exaggerating or not being truthful?"
Another Twitter user wrote, "I am in so much awe of you & all medical first responders. You are our heroes. Your description of the COVID units is so sad. I know all of you wish you could do more & would if you could. We all owe you all so much. I know that's not what it's about for you, but we do. Thank you."
Like Gooch, many other nurses and healthcare workers who started working day and night since the beginning of the pandemic expressed their difficulties and horrific situations at hospitals. Recently, another healthcare worker burst into tears in a video while describing the scene in Texas.
She also gave details of a room dubbed "the pit" where Coronavirus infected patients were sent to die. In a Facebook Live video nurse Lawanna Rivers, said, "This last assignment was horrific for me... The facility I was at, they have surpassed New York, if you can imagine that. What I experienced this past month is horrific. I saw a lot of people die that I felt like shouldn't have died."