Doctors are seeing a shift in the types of COVID patients that they see as Omicron spreads at unprecedented speeds. It’s not just more. They are now treating patients with COVID pneumonia symptoms rather than those with the classic symptoms.
” We have tons of COVID patients in the hospital, almost as many as we had last winter but with very different patterns,” stated Christopher Cannon, MD, who is a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. It’s not the COVID tip type, but it is more common among the vaccinated. It is causing patients’ other health conditions to worsen. “
Patients are now more likely to present with problems related to COVID or heart failure than patients with ventilators and lung problems. Cannon is one of many doctors who suggested that less people with health issues sought medical care last winter’s COVID -19 peak, perhaps because they were afraid that they might catch the virus at the hospital.
Cardiologist Biykem Bolkurt, MD and PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston suggested that the combination of delayed but necessary care, short staffing, Omicron-related increases in vulnerability, and the accumulation of unmet medical needs over time has begun to add up.
” “It’s creating an ideal storm in the healthcare system,” stated Bozkurt.
This situation highlights the growing challenges in monitoring and communicating about the virus.
Laypeople have been engaged in a “with” versus “for” debate, where COVID -19 is a primary diagnosis and COVID -19 is a secondary or third diagnosis.
Cardiologist Jim Januzzi of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School calls this a false dichotomy. There may be both a COVID-positive patient and another patient who tests positive for COVID. There are many in-between. A person who comes to the hospital “with COVID” but not “for COVID,” may already have the virus. This could be what caused them to arrive at the hospital.
For example, if someone arrives at the hospital with a fractured hip and tests positive for COVID, it is not a good idea to say they had COVID incidentally. He said, “If they hadn’t had the coronavirus virus infection, they wouldn’t have been weakened. They wouldn’t have fallen on their hip.” “And that’s what we, as nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and other healthcare professionals, would really like people to stop being confused about. “
Still, doctors say, more research is needed to know what proportion of patients are hospitalized because COVID complicated th