The situation with the Covid-19 currently is completely out of control in some states and the hospitals and the healthcare workers are literally operating on the edge of their limits. Numerous states are already reporting ICU beds and healthcare workers shortage, while the Delta variant spreads like crazy and infects everyone from little children to elderly people.
What is even more alarming is the fact that there is a decent percentage of fully vaccinated people that are experiencing severe symptoms and are treated in hospital. Taking into consideration that, it’s easy to assume why the availability of the ICU beds in the hospitals is low and why some hospitals are even reporting no availability at all, which is the case in this story.
According to CBS News, one Texas resident died literally in a hospital room because there were no available ICU beds in the hospitals in the area. The man was suffering treatable illness and would have survived if he was admitted to hospital and received the treatment on time.
The man was identified as Daniel Wilkinson, U.S. Army veteran, and he started feeling sick last week. His illness was not Covid-19 related, but he needed additional healthcare in hospital. He headed to a nearby hospital for treatment, but he was denied since all the ICU beds in the hospitals were already occupied by Covid-19 patients.
When Wilkinson and his mother reached to the nearest hospital last Saturday, he was examined and the doctors discovered he had gallstone pancreatitis, something the hospital wasn’t equipped to treat.
The patient was literally dying in front of the doctor who was not able to do anything at the moment. Wilkinson needed a higher level of care, but with hospitals across Texas and much of the South overwhelmed with COVID patients, there was no place for him.
The doctor did everything he could to find hospital with available ICU beds. He did multiple phone calls to hospitals and doctors he knew, but he was denied since all of them were full with Covid-19 patients. The issue was the ICU bed, Wilkinson needed an ICU bed because the treatment required intensive care.
“Then I’m at my computer and, I’m just like, scratching my head, and I get this thought in my head: I’m like, ‘What if I put this on Facebook or something, maybe somebody can help out?’ One doctor messaged me: ‘Hey, I’m in Missouri. Last time I checked, we have ICU beds. We can do this, call this number.’ The next guy messages me, he’s a GI specialist, he goes, ‘I’m in Austin. I can do his procedure, get him over.’ I said, ‘Okay great, let’s go.’ He texts me back five minutes later: ‘I’m sorry. I can’t get administrative approval to accept him, we’re full.'”
The doctor was looking for available bed across Texas and across the country for whole six hours. During this time, Wilkinson was waiting in an ER bed in the local hospital. The time was ticking out for Wilkinson. He needed his treatment urgently.
“I had that thought in my head: ‘I need to get his mother here right now,'” Doctro Kakli said. “I said, ‘If he doesn’t get this procedure done, he is going to die.’
“I also had to have the discussion with him. ”Dan,’ I said, ‘if your heart stops in front of me right here, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to do everything we can to resuscitate you and try and get your heart back? If that were to happen, Dan, if I were to get you back, we’re still in that position we’re in right now.'”
Wilkinson promised himself he would never fly in a helicopter again after returning from Afghanistan. However, this was an emergency situation and luckily, an ICU bed was opened up at the V.A. hospital in Houston and he was airlifted immediately.
Unfortunately, it was too late for the procedure to be started and the man died.
“They weren’t able to do the procedure on him because it had been too long,” his mother said. “They told me that they had seen air pockets in his intestines, which means that they were already starting to die off. They told me that I had to make a decision, and I knew how Danny felt; he didn’t want to be that way. And, so, we were all in agreement that we had to let him go.”
It took almost 24 hours since Wilkinson was taken into the emergency room. He was pronounced dead at the age of 46. The treatment Wilkinson needed lasts about 30 minutes. If hospitals were not fulfilled with Covid-19 patients, Wilkinson would have been alive and doing his daily activities as usual.