DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — In many parts of the country, hospital staff has never been in shorter supply, which exacerbates the pressure on care and capacity. Some hospital systems are now debating whether to prioritize the vaccinated.
An Oklahoma nurse is speaking for medical professionals everywhere as the state now has 1,500 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and simply has no room for patients.
“I’ve zipped up too many body bags. We’ve seen way too many people die the last year and a half,” said the nurse, who is urging vaccinations. “Because our beds are full, we have to decide when a bed opens up who gets that bed.”
There have been similar cries for help in Texas.
“Please don’t get on a motorcycle, don’t have a trauma, don’t have a heart attack. Because we’re going to be at a point where we can’t manage you,” said Dr. Michael Lamanteer, chief medical officer at BSA Hospital.
The predicament is raising an almost unimaginable question. In Dallas last week, a task force charged with setting critical care guidelines was called together. One of the question raised: When it comes to getting an ICU bed, should hospitals begin prioritizing vaccinated patients?
“This was a discussion item that unfortunately got leaked to the local newspaper as though we had modified the guidelines. We have not,” said Stephen Love, CEO of DFW Hospital council. “We’re absolutely not going to have anyone excluded,” he added.
Another group considering vaccination status is insurance companies. Delta Airlines announced Wednesday it will add a $200 monthly surcharge to insurance premiums for unvaccinated employees. It will also be limiting sick time for those who do not get the vaccine.
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