University of Michigan Health System is reaching capacity in its emergency rooms due to a fourth surge of COVID-19. According to health officials, there are other urgent and emergent cases increase at this time of year like heart attacks and strokes.
Dr. David Miller is the president of University of Michigan Health System. He says doctors choosing to postpone procedures is an extremely difficult decision.
It also affects families. Many families have rearranged schedules to be able to care for their loved ones around the time of surgery. And so these are these significant decisions with consequences for patients and their families that are having to be made weekly if not daily, in the context of the pandemic.”
Like many other hospitals and health systems, Miller says U of M’s emergency department is crowded. Miller says looking for alternative medical care like urgent care centers and mobile health units will help reduce overcrowding in hospital emergency rooms. He says, however, if you find yourself in an emergent situation, do not hesitate to call 911.
“We want to emphasize that patients who are in need of emergency care, please come to the emergency department, we are here, we will take care of you,” Miller says. “But in circumstances where another option may be available and appropriate, please also consider that so that we can make sure that we are preserving access in our emergency departments for the very sick patients who are in need of emergency care.”
Rescheduling of elective procedures have been a significant challenge during the pandemic, Miller says. Recently the health system canceled more than 40 cases.
“We have had to cancel and reschedule surgery simply because we don’t have the bed space,” Miller says. “… It also affects families, many families have rearranged their schedules to be able to care for their loved ones around the time of surgery. And so these are significant decisions with consequences for patients and their families that are having to be made weekly, if not daily, in the context of the pandemic.”
Two years into the pandemic, Miller says the health system’s workers are exhausted.
“Our teams are tired, if not exhausted, and now we need the public’s health to end the pandemic. We need help from friends, neighbors, colleagues, community members to move forward with vaccination to continue public health measures that reduce the risk of spread. Our health care workers have been so courageous for so many months. Now is the time for us to come together and take the steps that we can to end the pandemic.”
Listen: Dr. David Miller of University of Michigan talks about the latest surge of COVID-19.
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