As COVID cases rise and Omicron Looms, Illinois medical workers voice frustration – NBC Chicago

As Illinois hospitals face further surge in COVID patient numbers and with the threat of the omicron variant looming, exhausted healthcare workers urge the public to take reasonable precautions as the season continues. vacation speeds up.

“It’s hard when I read what I wrote eight months after the pandemic started, and now we are 20 months away and everything is going on,†Carol Williams, an intensive care nurse in Aurora, told NBC.

Williams first spoke to NBC last year, and she’s talking about it again this holiday season, urging residents to take action to help do their part to end the pandemic once and for all.

“We just said,†she said. “You know, we’re sad because it doesn’t have to be that way. “

As of Thursday evening, the latest date for data to be released, the state of Illinois had 275 ICU beds open, which is just 9% of the total staffed beds in the state.

There were 787 COVID patients in intensive care beds, while a total of 3,783 patients were hospitalized due to COVID. That number represents the most COVID hospitalizations the state has seen in nearly a year, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Frontline workers are feeling the pressure COVID cases are putting on the system, with hospital staff shrinking due to burnout and a variety of other factors.

While COVID-related hospitalizations are still below historic highs, the virus is having a huge effect on the availability of beds for people with other medical emergencies.

“There is always a risk that you will have a car accident or a heart attack. This makes the care for these other conditions very treatable far from ideal, â€said Dr Regina Royan, emergency physician.

Royan says her emergency room is overflowing with patients and she says she has been pushed over the edge in the past 20 months.

“As healthcare workers we have seen and dealt with this every day, and we have tried to give the best care possible,†she said. “Now we know there are solutions that have been shown to be effective, safe and effective in preventing people from going to the hospital. It’s frustrating to see a lot of patients arrive unvaccinated.

Williams and Royan both say they take every precaution possible and encourage others to do the same, whether it’s getting the COVID shot, vaccinating those who have been vaccinated and wearing masks in public.

Even still, they are increasingly frustrated as the cases increase.

“It’s just preventable,†Williams said.

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