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COVID-19 Hospital Visitor Rules: Family Wants More Access | Nationwide

Miami (AP) —Jaden Alberaes, whose mother was expelled from a dying Florida room on COVID-19, offered an idea to a nearby construction worker.

“Is there a way to get there?” Alberaes asked them, pointing at a small third-floor window in a hospital in Jacksonville.

Workers handed a yellow vest, boots, helmet and ladder to a 17-year-old child and climbed a part of the roof, where he could see his mother Michelle Alberas last alive through the window.

A year and a half after the pandemic, which killed 700,000 people in the United States, hospitals in at least half a dozen states relaxed restrictions on managing visits to COVID patients. However, some are in a solid position, supported by research and industry groups that point out that such policies are important for keeping nosocomial infections low.

Some families of COVID-19 patients, and doctors, have asked hospitals to rethink their strategies, claiming that they deny people the right to be with their loved ones at critical times. increase.

“We need to get people to think about the risk-benefit equation,” said Lauren Vance, a lung and emergency physician at Penn State University, who studied the effects of limited visits to relatives of COVID-19 patients. Dr. Koi said. “The risk of getting COVID and the known risks, psychological and emotional harm these families are experiencing.”

Van Skoy said many of the families she interviewed show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. In newspaper editorials, doctors share conversations with patients who refuse or postpone important treatment due to restricted visits.

A study conducted prior to the pandemic also showed that older patients in intensive care units with restricted visits had a higher incidence of delirium than patients in flexible wards.

Van Scoy agrees that at the beginning of the pandemic, it made sense to limit visits due to a lack of protective equipment and COVID-19 testing and no vaccine. But now, testing and vaccination are expanding significantly, and doctors say screening mechanisms and personal protective equipment can keep the virus away.

Nevertheless, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend direct visits to infected patients.

“We don’t downplay the sacrifices we’re making for individuals and their loved ones, unless absolutely necessary,” said Nancy, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety Policy at the American Hospital Association.・ Foster states.

Anne-Marie Pettis, chairman of the Association of Infection Control and Epidemiology Experts, acknowledged that patients would benefit from having visitors, but said the group still discouraged it most of the time. rice field.

“I don’t know where I don’t work very hard because my family is so important to the well-being of my patients,” Pettis said. “These are heartbreaking decisions that must be made.”

Jeremy Star, a 36-year-old power company lineman from Jacksonville, is familiar with such a broken heart.

The star, infected with the virus in the summer, remembers being thirsty and unable to sleep alone while in the ICU for 14 days.

“Non-breathing was bad enough, but not seeing your loved one is the worst,” he said. “I felt like you weren’t human.”

Kirsten Fiest, an associate professor of critical care medicine at the University of Calgary, who is studying the effects of isolation on COVID-19 patients, said the family is also a caregiver who can ease the burden on stressed health care workers at the ICU.

“Because there is no family there, nurses have to stay out of the way to call them. They have to play a new role and call when someone says goodbye. You even have to hold it over, “said Fiest.

Inspired by the stories of Star, Albera Es, and others like them, Jacksonville’s Darlene Gera has begun an online petition to ask Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for more access. DeSantis said he was an early supporter of reopening nursing homes to visitors and felt that banning them contributed to the suffering of the family.

“It’s a pain for all these families,” Gera said. “We work, go to church, go to stores, but can’t we go to the hospital and be with our loved ones?”

Justin Sr., Head of the Florida Safety Net Hospital Alliance, which represents some of Florida’s largest medical facilities, said the hospital had COVID infection levels, vaccination rates, and hearts when establishing rules for visits. He said he would take the disease rate into account. Local lung disease.

Some doctors say the medical network is worried about the shortage of nurses and puts restrictions on already exhausted healthcare workers so they don’t stress them. Some say that the process of screening visitors and teaching them how to wear protective equipment can also be time consuming from medical staff.

“I think this position isn’t good for the patient, it comes from a place of fatigue and burnout,” said Van Skoy.

Some hospitals allow the examination of coronavirus patients. The University of Utah stayed in the hospital room earlier this year, always wearing personal protective equipment, asymptomatic, vaccinated, or recently recovered from COVID-19.

Many have made exceptions only to dying coronavirus patients. This was the case at Jacksonville Hospital, which takes care of Albera Es’s mother. The family says the rules were inconsistent. One day, the administrator allowed only one family member to visit. Elsewhere, a few visitors were allowed. On the final day, only Alberaes’ father, Mitch Alberaes, was allowed. It happened to be his birthday.

A distraught teen picks up a cell phone from a perch on the roof of a hospital, calls his father and sings “Happy Birthday”, looks through the window and is unconscious of the ventilator. I stared at my mother.

A few hours later, her mother died alone.



COVID-19 Hospital Visitor Rules: Family Wants More Access | Nationwide

Source link COVID-19 Hospital Visitor Rules: Family Wants More Access | Nationwide

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