Latest California Healthline Stories
A coalition of anesthesiologists wants to repurpose the country’s more than 5,000 surgery centers to serve as emergency overflow amid the coronavirus pandemic. The centers have trained medical staff largely sitting idle, anesthesia machines that could be turned into ventilators, and empty medical space. But obstacles such as federal payment rules, logistics and some skepticism are getting in the way.
With coronavirus cases growing at a faster rate than anticipated, hospitals are scrambling to boost medical supplies and beds.
As they prepare for an onslaught of coronavirus patients, health officials in New York and other states urge retired medical professionals to rejoin the ranks.
Doctors sent an impassioned, desperate letter to Congress describing the lack of protective equipment across the country — from masks to respirators to gowns to goggles. They’re using equipment from construction sites and home-repair stores or wearing the same mask from patient to patient. And they worry about what exposure without sufficient protection means for them and their families.
U.S. pandemic planning envisioned the possibility of using CPAP machines for milder cases of COVID-19 when ventilators are in short supply. But evidence suggests that the machines, commonly used by people with sleep apnea, can aerosolize and possibly spread the virus. That leaves hospitals with few good alternatives if the demand for ventilators exceeds the supply.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was out front nationally when he ordered nearly all Californians to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19. But local officials warn it won’t work without tougher enforcement.
In an interview with California Healthline, the state’s Senate leader, Toni Atkins, makes clear that with social-distancing measures in force it will be difficult to debate and pass complicated budget measures ― but public health, education and public safety will be priorities.
Maryland, Ohio and others are reporting only positive tests, which skews tracking and an understanding of how the virus spreads.
Six states — Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas — have taken steps to limit inappropriate prescriptions for the medicine and preserve supplies for patients who take it for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Californians are under orders to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus — and the result is that some of Southern California’s best-known spots are shuttered or deserted, from Santa Monica Pier to Olvera Street.