The constant surge in COVID-19 patients is taking its toll on Kansas City-area hospitals.From the second that nurse Kara Purdum walks into the dedicated COVID-19 ICU, she said she’s hit with the stark reality of the pandemic’s surge.”We chemically coded a patient when I walked on the unit. We intubated a patient emergently 10 minutes after that. And I still have two patients. So, our staffing is hurting,” Purdum said.Hospital video showed Purdum braiding a patient’s hair to keep it off her face before she was put on a ventilator.The spike in cases, along with staffing shortages, have her working six days this week. In the University of Kansas Health System, one hospital has run out of staff. Another has 152 frontline workers are out with COVID-19. On top of that, hospitals are bracing for another potential surge in patients exposed over Thanksgiving.While doctors and nurses struggle to keep up and comfort families, they’re seeing a lot of regret.”Unfortunately, a lot of our patients don’t have the ability to talk. A lot of our patients are on ventilators so where we’re hearing that regret is through their family, through Zoom, talking to their family members and saying, ‘You know, I wish we would have done this. I wish we wouldn’t have went to our Thanksgiving dinner. I wish we would have stayed home from that wedding,'” Purdum said. As we approach the holiday season, these doctors and nurses have a message for you. Help them keep you safe by properly wear a mask around others and avoid holiday gatherings.”They don’t understand how nasty this is and how ugly it is. And if they could see one patient go through what we see every day, I promise you everybody would social distance and wear masks appropriately just because nobody should see that,” Purdum said.Doctors and nurses understand hope is on the horizon with a vaccine on the way. But we’re not there yet and it could be months before we are.

The constant surge in COVID-19 patients is taking its toll on Kansas City-area hospitals.

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From the second that nurse Kara Purdum walks into the dedicated COVID-19 ICU, she said she’s hit with the stark reality of the pandemic’s surge.

“We chemically coded a patient when I walked on the unit. We intubated a patient emergently 10 minutes after that. And I still have two patients. So, our staffing is hurting,” Purdum said.

Hospital video showed Purdum braiding a patient’s hair to keep it off her face before she was put on a ventilator.

The spike in cases, along with staffing shortages, have her working six days this week. In the University of Kansas Health System, one hospital has run out of staff. Another has 152 frontline workers are out with COVID-19. On top of that, hospitals are bracing for another potential surge in patients exposed over Thanksgiving.

While doctors and nurses struggle to keep up and comfort families, they’re seeing a lot of regret.

“Unfortunately, a lot of our patients don’t have the ability to talk. A lot of our patients are on ventilators so where we’re hearing that regret is through their family, through Zoom, talking to their family members and saying, ‘You know, I wish we would have done this. I wish we wouldn’t have went to our Thanksgiving dinner. I wish we would have stayed home from that wedding,'” Purdum said.

As we approach the holiday season, these doctors and nurses have a message for you. Help them keep you safe by properly wear a mask around others and avoid holiday gatherings.

“They don’t understand how nasty this is and how ugly it is. And if they could see one patient go through what we see every day, I promise you everybody would social distance and wear masks appropriately just because nobody should see that,” Purdum said.

Doctors and nurses understand hope is on the horizon with a vaccine on the way. But we’re not there yet and it could be months before we are.

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