Sparrow Hospital nurses tired as hospitals fill with COVID patients

Most new patients not vaccinated, health officials say
Sparrow Hospital nurses tired as hospitals fill with COVID patients
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:20 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Nurses in Sparrow’s COVID ward are exhausted as the omicron variant spreads quickly across the state.

Related: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses threat of omicron in first COVID update in months

Michigan is once again near the top of the list with the newest COVID cases, and they’re filling up our hospitals.

More than 100 people were fighting COVID at Sparrow Hospital, according to state data Tuesday. Dozens of those patients were in the ICU.

Dec. 20, 2021: Michigan COVID cases up to 1,434,837 and 25,984 deaths

“There are some days you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Leah Rash, Sparrow nurse.

Rash has worked in Sparrow’s COVID ward since the beginning of the pandemic. She’s seeing more people coming in now compared to a year ago. And they’re worse off.

“You cannot just believe this pandemic is still going on and people are as sick as what they are,” said Rash. “It’s like as soon as they hit the ground here. They just continue to need those demands and it’s just sad that they’re so sick so fast.”

“I already told my family when I left to go to the hospital, I didn’t expect to come back,” said Dale Baldwin.

Baldwin is one of the more lucky patients. He recently tested negative after spending three weeks in the hospital, but he’s still on oxygen.

“I couldn’t function anymore. Breathing, no energy. My son took me to the ER, my oxygen was so low that I needed to be admitted immediately,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin isn’t vaccinated, like most COVID patients who end up in the hospital. Now he wants more people to get it.

“I was against it, the whole nine yards. It’s the stupidest thing I did. My advice would be to do it. You do not want to go through this,” said Baldwin.

Related: Biden pledges 500M free COVID-19 tests to counter omicron

Rash said she’s hoping more people would take that advice to help alleviate the pressure on the health care system

“It’s definitely helping keep people out of the hospital. Or if you are vaccinated and you come here, you’re not here very long,” said Rash.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told News 10 there are no plans to set up temporary hospitals like early in the pandemic. A spokeswoman said there isn’t anyone to staff those temporary hospitals

Instead, the state is relying on military medics to help hospitals. The military isn’t deployed to any hospitals in Mid-Michigan.

Related: Sparrow Hospital requests federal staffing assistance as hospital becomes overwhelmed with COVID patients

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