San Gabriel Valley, Alhambra Hospital, Orange County discussed on Greater LA

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A situation where l A county officials have warned that they're running out of ambulances because ambulances are just waiting lined up in a queue in front of the hospitals for as long as eight hours trying to drop off patients there, and there's concern that heart attack patients and stroke patients aren't getting the prompt care that they would need. S so it's a pretty bleak situation out there. We know that. As of last night L. A county was averaging about 187 deaths a day to put it. In another perspective, That's One death every eight minutes. It Z unprecedented situation. It's heartbreaking in the fact that the paramedics were unable to disembark their patients right from the ambulance, and so they're having to wait in the parking lot. The hospital, sometimes for hours. That means that ambulance is out of commission right and unable to go to pick up another person who may be in need. Yes, that's right. And it's causing. You know major problems. I mean, officials are trying to get out of it through through a number of very unusual ways. Um, one of them is creating up these temporary ambulance of receiving areas. This is a situation where the hospitals are so crowded that that every space in the emergency department It's filled up, including the hallways and in such a situation where they're hoping to do is actually be able to drop off more patients and have them be watched over by one paramedic, or E. M. T. And that's in an effort to try to hopefully get more. Ambulances out into the public again. It's not an ideal situation, but it's the best that they can do. It's so much wrong and I may tell us a little bit because you reported on Alhambra, the hospital there. What kind of community does does it? Service is it obviously it's a smaller hospital, right? It is, and that's one of the things the it's these olders and smaller hospitals that are facing the brunt of the crisis. I know Alhambra pretty well. It's an area that is, you know, I have the Asian and heavily Latino area. We know that places like the San Gabriel Valley and the East side are being disproportionately hit hard by the pandemic. There are lots of people who are, you know, working class people who need to leave home to be able to work. But the problem is, is that because they're leaving home there at higher risk, and they get the disease on and then they bring the disease home and its president in the home. If you look at how crowded the ICUs are in the San Gabriel Valley, there have been a number of cases in the last couple of days. In which there have been zero available ICU beds across this and Google Valley. Same was the situation across South East L, a county and it's a situation where there is just so much death. That the morgues are filling up funeral homes in places like East L, A are so full that they are unfortunate having to turn away family members who had just been there for another. Funeral it Zahara breaking situation and even even even Alhambra Hospital. Um, there have been, you know, medical staff members that have died and every Every week. We're seeing more and more health care providers get sick and pass away from Cove. It You know again. You can't look at the pictures wrong. And here, the reporting what you're telling us right now and not not just be gobsmacked. Right by what's going on. And and not understand what a crisis. This really is. It's not just the old And infirmed and the underlying conditions getting sick. It's it's even young people, right? It's it's across. It runs the gamut. Yes, and what's even more alarming is that The rates of death are increasing for all age groups on been another concerning issue is that you know, early on in the pandemic. It was really only a small percentage of people who were dying without any medical underlying medical conditions at all. It was about 7%. That has increased to 14%. So now 14% of everyone who's died from Cove it in L. A county had no underlying medical conditions. So this is a situation where Younger people are spreading the disease and younger people are increasingly dying of the disease. Unfortunately, it's also situation for younger people are also spreading it to older people, and they're the ones hit hardest, so we'll have situations. Um, you know, anecdotally, where it Z younger adults who are beating with their older family members and giving the virus to them. You mentioned that morgues air filling up that funeral homes are unable to do their jobs. Even even the hospital's themselves. They're having trouble finding places. For the recently deceased, right T O, where to put even the bodies. That's right. And so the county has actually had to call in the National Guard to come in and help them store bodies in the county medical examiner Coroner's office because of because there's no place to store the bodies at the private mortuaries. There's that reporter about how Governor Gavin Newsom had to order 5000 additional body bags, and most of them were reserved for l A because of the situation that we're in right now. When we talk about I mean people getting sick with covert, obviously is is the big concern, but You know, As I mentioned, there are other ailments that people have as well. People have strokes and heart attacks and car crashes and things like that were ambulances where paramedics are needed. What kind of a strain does this put on those other things that people have to have dealt with as well. It's a big strain. One of my colleagues, Marissa Gerber, she talked with a 44 year old high school teacher in the South Bay. He was actually scheduled to have a kidney transplant at Cedars. In mid January, and it was called off. It was postponed because the hospital said, you know what? We're just out of ICU bed and this is a serious situation for this particular teacher. His kidneys are only running at 3%, and he has to undergo dialysis at home for nine hours a day. So this is not a situation where that's just affecting covert patients. It's also affecting people who really need these urgent. Kinds of medical procedures and surgeries, you know as soon as possible. What else is the county trying to do wrong in trying to Help hospitals out, get them out of this, or at least it to alleviate the pressure that they're under. So they're trying some very unusual kinds of situations. So, for example, you know, in the pre covert time there was there were efforts to You know, even if you're you should've at an accident scene and someone had a lot of trauma and their heart had stopped and there was no pulse. They would still transport that person to the hospital. Now the county's saying we don't we can't do that anymore. They have such a limited. Ability to survive and the hospital's already so full of other patients that we're not going to transport that particular patient over another issue. That's a big concern is the lack of oxygen there. There's such a demand for oxygen that the pipes are freezing, and sometimes there's such a demand that the air pressure is running low. So the Army Corps of Engineers was called in to help a number of hospitals retrofit there. Their systems to get those auction places you know, running up and running. However, it's also caused. You know the count to say, you know what for For patients, you know, in ambulances that are receiving oxygen. You really got a limited so don't give it to people unless you really need to give it to them. Well, I know wrong it when you look at the numbers again, you're just gobsmacked. It took nine months to get to 400,000 covert positive cases in L. A county. It took about a month for that, too double. And you know, I I suspect from the holidays, Thanksgiving and now Christmas, we're going to see even higher numbers. Um The only thing we can do is just Hope and pray and obviously keep reporting. What's going on the reality of what's happening in our county and are in our state wrong. Gong Lynn, staff writer with the L A times wrong Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. This is greater l A on KCRW. Happy New Year. I'm Steve to take us now on the Orange County..

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