Health Advice

/

Health

COVID-overwhelmed hospitals postpone cancer care and other treatment

Erik Neumann, Jefferson Public Radio, Kaiser Health News on

Published in Health & Fitness

It showed that stopping elective procedures was an effective tool to free up beds in intensive care units to care for COVID patients. But the study didn’t look at the consequences for those patients who had to wait.

“We clearly, even in hindsight, made the right decision of curtailing elective surgery,” said Dr. Brajesh Lal, a professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the study’s lead author. “But we as a society have not really emphatically asked the question ‘At what price in the long term?’”

He said they won’t know that without more long-term research.

At his home in southern Oregon, Charlie Callagan said he doesn’t consider his bone-marrow transplant as urgent as what some people are facing right now.

“There’s so many other people who are being affected,” he said. “People are dying waiting for a hospital bed. That just angers me. It’s hard to stay quiet now.”

 

He said it’s hard to be sympathetic for the COVID patients filling up hospitals, when a simple vaccine could have prevented most of those hospitalizations.

____

This story is from a reporting partnership that includes Jefferson Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

©2021 Kaiser Health News. Visit khn.org. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.