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'We Have No ICU Beds': LA's Coronavirus Hospital Crisis Is Here

LAC+USC Medical Center's Emergency Room Chava Sanchez/LAist
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Public health officials have long warned of a crisis in our medical system if too many people resisted taking basic health precautions to guard against getting or spreading COVID-19.

The crisis is here.

“We have no ICU beds,” said Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer of L.A. County-USC Medical Center, one of the area’s largest hospitals. “We are just continually, 24 hours a day scrambling to move patients around. The flood just continues.”

Within a matter of days, County-USC will be forced to make its exhausted staff treat even more patients than they have been, he said.

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And if that isn’t enough, Spellberg predicts we’re just weeks away from hospitals being forced to start rationing emergency care.

If it comes to that, instead of trying to save every life, health workers' goal would be to save as many patients as possible. That means those less likely to survive would not get the same kind of care they would usually receive.


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