It’s not uncommon for a health care professional to work on Christmas. But this year is a little different.
“I think what sets this year apart, is the intensity of care that has been provided over the last nine, going on 10 months. That’s the fundamental difference,” said Dr. Mark Casanova, President of The Dallas Medical Society.
A surge in virus cases in Texas means the situation is worse in terms of hospital capacity than it was last spring and summer.
Casanova explained that it is because earlier, it was more regional.
“Now we’re hit hard throughout the state, throughout the nation. Reserves have been deployed via the state. Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists. The point is, there is no more cavalry to call in. The cavalry is there,” Casanova said.
To give you an example, earlier in the week, there were about three dozen available ICU beds in Dallas and Tarrant counties combined.
“In a situation, if a person walks into an emergency room and that particular hospital is at capacity, yes, you would then go through a process of trying to find an ICU bed for that individual if it was needed somewhere in the region. That process could take anywhere from hours to days. The tighter the bed capacity, the longer it could possibly take to get that patient the care they need,” Casanova added.
A patient can still get a ventilator and care in a different room, but they are not in an ICU being watched and monitored as closely.
Casanova warned, this is a marathon fight and we are nowhere near the finish line.
"The virus will not bend to our will. We, in health care, have a limited number of tools available to us to save lives. Period. End of story,” he said.