MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — While the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state appeared to slow on Monday, cases are still rising, and doctors are beyond being burned out.
The long hours, insufficient supplies and patient overload are one thing, but for some doctors, knowing many cases can be prevented is another.
"It's demoralizing, so I think that certainly is a level of resentment that you see amongst healthcare workers where you feel like you're…battling something uphill when you see people not adhering to measures that can protect them,” said Dr. Eliot Godofsky, an infectious disease expert in Manatee County.
Godofsky says workers are not resentful of patients themselves but frustrated with flippant attitudes about the virus, and in some hospitals, having to do more with less.
"At one of our local hospitals, Manatee Memorial Hospital, which has 200-plus beds, the number of COVID patients or suspected COVID patients is approximately a third of all the beds so they occupied, all of the ICU beds, including the converted beds,” Godofsky said. “And, this weekend, the number of patients that needed to be cared for was outstripping our supply of ventilators, so the hospital needed to borrow a few ventilators from some of the local hospitals.
"So right now, I would say in Manatee County for example, where I know it the best in Lakewood Ranch, we are running right at the fringe of capacity."
They’re also running out of supplies that could keep people alive.
"We're dealing with significant shortages of plasma. For there has been over the last few weeks periods of time where patients have been waiting between four and seven days to get a plasma transfusion,” Godofsky said.
Doctors say the heavy load of work is wearing them down.
"Everybody is just burnt out from this and discouraged. And it makes going into work very difficult for some people,” he said.
Doctors say patients who've recovered from COVID-19 should strongly consider donating plasma to help treat others who may be struggling with the virus. That donation could help save a life.
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