Alaska is currently home to the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the country and doctors there are facing a dire scenario for the distribution of care.
Across the country, emergency rooms are overcrowded, test supplies are running out, patients are being treated in corridors, and doctors are administering oxygen.
Many countries have adopted crisis management guidelines, but few have formally implemented them. Alaska did it. On Saturday, the state announced that it had activated crisis standards for 20 medical facilities in cities and towns.
“I didn’t expect to meet him,” said Dr. Stephen Flottinger, physician at Alaska’s largest hospital. “We are responsible for taxes when we decide who will live and who will not.”
In one case, another ICU bed with several Covid-19 patients was vacated at his Anchorage Hospital. Others from one of the remote rural areas of the country must be transported for emergency use.
dr. Flörchinger and his colleagues found that medical staff were more likely to save patients in the emergency room than patients in the country. Then a local patient died.
“Alaska is in a very dire situation right now,” said co-worker Mike Baker, who speaks with doctors across Alaska. “It’s isolated in such a unique way that large hospitals don’t have simple safety valves.”
Overcrowded hospitals in 48 states across the continental United States are more flexible in transferring patients, Mike said. But in Anchorage, the nearest help is in Seattle, 2,500 miles away.
“If someone needs a life-saving emergency in Alaska, they will most likely end up in Anchorage,” Mike said. “With Anchorage hospital running out of space, more and more patients remain in the local community, even with higher levels of care.”
Republican Governor Mike Dunley also opposes restrictions to mitigate the virus, such as national disguises. In Anchorage, I saw my colleague Mike Baker attend the city council over a proposal to meet Maskan, and I saw angry protesters beat up doctors who came to share their experiences and tell them how unfortunate the situation was. ..
“It’s really upsetting to see such a huge difference between what happens in the hospital and what happens outside the hospital,” Mike said.
That spring, Alaska became the first state to begin vaccinating everyone over the age of 16, with planes, ferries, and sleds carrying cans to remote communities. However, only about half of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.